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Shonda Rhimes: You Are Not Alone

shonda rhimes you are not alone speech

Shonda Rhimes, writer and producer of powerhouse television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, spoke at The Human Rights Campaign Gala on Saturday. And her speech was every bit as moving and enthralling as the episodes she produces for television. The overarching theme was “You Are Not Alone.” A few of my favorite excerpts:

I don’t know if anyone has noticed but I only ever write about one thing: being alone. The fear of being alone, the desire to not be alone, the attempts we make to find our person, to keep our person, to convince our person to not leave us alone, the joy of being with our person and thus no longer alone, the devastation of being left alone.

The need to hear the words: You are not alone.

The fundamental human need for one human being to hear another human being say to them: “You are not alone. You are seen. I am with you. You are not alone.”

You should get to turn on the TV and see your tribe. And your tribe can be any kind of person, any one you identify with, anyone who feels like you, who feels like home, who feels like truth. You should get to turn on the TV and see your tribe, see your people, someone like you out there, existing. So that you know on your darkest day that when you run (metaphorically or physically RUN), there is somewhere, someone, to run TO. Your tribe is waiting for you.

You are not alone.

The goal is that everyone should get to turn on the TV and see someone who looks like them and loves like them. And just as important, everyone should turn on the TV and see someone who doesn’t look like them and love like them. Because, perhaps then, they will learn from them.

Perhaps then, they will not isolate them.

Marginalize them.

Erase them.

Perhaps they will even come to recognize themselves in them.

Perhaps they will even learn to love them.

You may read the entire speech here, if you’d like, which captures her point so much more eloquently than just a few snippets. Bravo, Shonda. <3

P.S. Related: More favorite speeches on doing what you love, kindness and finding meaning.

{Photo via The Berry}

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