Academy Award winner Graham Moore: 'Stay weird'
When he accepted the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, Moore said, “When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong. And now I am standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. Stay weird, stay different. When it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person that comes along."
I also felt "weird" when I was a teenager, and I got chills as he gave his speech. It felt like he was talking directly to me. And I'm sure of the 36.6 million viewers, many other people felt the same way.
The 33-year-old said at the Governor's Ball after the Oscars that he never publicly talked about his depression before. Moore said that he was a computer nerd when he was growing up and looked up to Alan Turing, the subject of "The Imitation Game."
Moore, who previously served as First Lady Michelle Obama's chief of staff, told Entertainment Weekly, “Unlike Alan, I’m not the greatest genius of my generation. Unlike Alan, I’m also not gay, but I have my own things that make me feel different. ... It’s always what drew me so much to Alan’s story—the outsider’s outsider, the guy who will never fit into his own time, but precisely because of that, was able to accomplish what he did.”
The thing as a teenager that kept me going was knowing that many accomplished people were considered "weird" when they were growing up. And, now, Moore is another person to add to this list. I am so thankful that Moore's suicide attempt didn't work. His speech was not only moving but I wouldn't be surprised if it saved at least one person's life, someone watching the Oscars who was considering suicide who changed his or her mind right that second.
If you feel different and think death is the only way out, instead take on Moore's challenge. Work that much harder to accomplish your dreams so, one day, when you are honored and when you are up on a stage giving your speech, you can pass on Moore's message.