Anne Hathaway Checks — and Rejects — Her Privilege in Brilliant Acceptance Speech

This past weekend, the Human Rights Campaign threw its annual gala dinner in Washington DC. Among the night’s honorees was Anne Hathaway, who was recognized for her support of the LGBTQ+ community with the National Ally For Equality award. Anne has been on a hot streak for the past few years when it comes to being a political force and powerful advocate. She’s spoken out about women’s equality, she’s addressed fat shamers and body politics in Hollywood, and she’s even opened up about the toxic culture that, once upon a time, made her a villain of sorts in Hollywood. This new speech is just as incredible, and her message to the LGBTQ+ community is truly a standout moment, both for her and the community as a whole.

It’s not just that Anne acknowledges her privilege as a white, cisgender woman — she does, for the record — but that she seeks to talk about the culture that created that privilege in the first place. She calls out the myth that “gayness orbits around straightness, transgender orbits around cisgender, and that all races orbit around whiteness.” She credits the LGBTQ+ community as the reason she is able to reject the myth and recognize that we believe it so willfully because it’s been in place for such a long time. In the same breath, she expresses a hope, in the future, that we can destroy it.

But perhaps it’s the moment in which she even pulls out of her speech and recognizes the game therein that really speaks the loudest: “I know I’m speaking in abstractions, and that there’s privilege embedded in my ability to do so,” she says. “I know that there are very real obstacles that block the path to true equality, and I know that removing them is easier said than done. But I know that myths that are destroyed by the same thing that creates them: a community.” That’s pretty powerful stuff. Watch the speech in full above.

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