It was a night of few surprises, but there were a few unsuspected speeches at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony that took place Sunday, Feb. 22. When Imitation Game screenwriter took the stage he honored gay mathematician Alan Turing (after thanking Oprah, who presented him with the award), and launched into a moving speech that encouraged young people to embrace their uniqueness and not harm themselves. As Moore stated in his speech:
"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'm standing here, and so I would like 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. I promise you do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass this same message to the next person who comes along."
He spoke with the The Advocate's Jase Peeples following his win, explaining:
"When you're approaching a story of this magnitude and you're approaching a life and a person as unique as Alan Turing, there is a tremendous amount of responsibility on your shoulders, as I felt on my shoulders, to tell his story fairly, and accurately, and responsibly. Alan was someone who was so mistreated by history. He was someone who, as a gay man, was persecuted by the government whose existence he provided for. So I always felt that we needed a film that helped spread his legacy, and celebrated him, and brought to a new audience of people who might have not otherwise been exposed to this man because history had treated him so poorly."
Although many assumed Moore must be gay, at the Governors Ball after the ceremony, Moore told BuzzFeed News:
“I’m not gay, but I’ve never talked publicly about depression before or any of that and that was so much of what the movie was about and it was one of the things that drew me to Alan Turing so much. I think we all feel like weirdos for different reasons. Alan had his share of them and I had my own, and that’s what always moved me so much about his story.”
Imitation Game, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch as the WWII hero who worked to crack the Nazi Enigma Code, helping turn the tide of the war for the Allies, didn't take home any other awards, despite being up for several. So Moore's win, for his adaptation of Andrew Hodges's doorstop, Alan Turing: The Enigma, was a bright spot for a film with a gay protagonist.
Watch Graham Moore's acceptance speech below: