America Ferrera gave a moving and empowering speech about the LGBTQ community and minority inclusion

During yesterday’s Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles, America Ferrera gave a speech dedicated to the LGBTQ community, and it’s so darn inspiring and pretty moving, too.

Last night (March 19th) saw heaps of famous faces head down to the HRC gala, with the likes of Lena Dunham, America Ferrera, Tyler Oakley, and Katy Perry all making an appearance. Indeed, the night also saw people take to the stage to give moving and empowered speeches, with Katy Perry speaking up about equality and the LGBTQ community.

In fact, America Ferrera, who was also in attendance, was awarded the organization’s Ally for Equality Award for her activist work. Ferrera has been a strong proponent of the Women’s March, LGBTQ, and minority rights, and last night (while dressed in the most gorgeous geometric cutout dress) the star gave a rousing and incredible speech.

Taking to the podium, Ferrera spoke about how her standing up for the LGBTQ community was essentially her standing up for all marginalized groups.

“Anything I’ve ever done on behalf of the LGBTQ community, I did in service to myself, she said according to The Hollywood Reporter"Anything I ever did for the rights of this community I did because I believe — with every fiber of my being — that my liberation is bound up in the liberation of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and in the liberation of my black brothers and sisters, and in the liberation of immigrants, and refugees, and Muslims, and Sikhs, and women all over the world, and the incarcerated, and the criminalized, and the uneducated, and the poor, and the hungry, and, and, and, and, and.

During her 11-minute speech, Ferrera thanked her friend Lena Dunham, who presented her with the Ally for Equality Award, noting that “to call you sister, mentor, and friend…is a profound honor for me.” 

The star also spoke about her show, Superstore, and talked about how, growing up, she never saw any representations people like her. Indeed, the star opened up about why representation matters.

“We know that representation matters. We know this. Not just in the media but in schools, hospitals, boardrooms, halls of power. We know that it makes all the difference to see ourselves reflected by culture with dignity, with humor, with compassion,” she said. “It is how most of us learn what is possible for us, what our place in the world is. Too often we have to spend so many years unlearning what culture has taught us about who we are or ought to be, but It doesn’t have to be that way. We can change that. Every single one of us. We can leave the next generation with a better reflection of their innate worth and their inherent power simply by claiming and living in our own power.”

Ferrera also thanked her high school drama teacher Sue Freitag, who she brought to the gala with her, noting that Feitag provided her with a “safe space” while as a teenager.

Watch America Ferrera’s moving and powerful speech below.

We couldn’t agree more with everything that America Ferrera said last night, and we’re so thankful for people like her and Katy Perry for using their platforms to advocate for margalized communities.

As Ferrera said, “[w]e are being called to stand together, to fight together, breathe together, [and] rejuvenate together.”