Tonight was cathartic.
At the Golden Globes, I watched two of the most influential people in my life be awarded for being very good and successful people — people who use their success to guide the less fortunate. (Think about it.) We are all the better for the achievements of these two very famous people.
It is essential to see what power does when put in the right hands.
I was fortunate enough to be cast in Tom Hanks’ “That Thing That You Do” in 1996, and I am even more blessed to be his friend still. He is always the one human being I could count on through any of life’s many challenges.
In 1997, I got to take my friend, Ellen DeGeneres to Golden Globes — I held her hand, and we acted as if we were a couple so she would not have to let the world know she was gay. She wasn’t ashamed to be gay. She just wasn’t allowed to be gay publicly and have a successful TV show. (Times have changed, she’s now loved by all.)
When I saw Ellen at the Soho House about two years ago with my son Camden. I didn’t get to tell her this and it’s bugged me ever since, but how do you come out and say, “I’m a sexual abuse survivor.” That’s one reason why I was so dark and brooding all the time.
I was never allowed to wake up to my truth until brave actresses like Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd broke their silence about Harvey Weinstein. I know those people, and by knowing them I got awakened to their truth, which so happened to be in line with my truth.
I carried that unconscionable experience through every moment of my acting career, every audition, every meeting — that one horrible moment of my life would keep me from having real intimacy with almost every human being on the planet.
Like so many sexual abuse survivors, I lost the ability to stand up for myself — the ability to trust others and trust God.
In the press today, I read that Harvey Weinstein has spent the last two years in a 12-step program, and I hope that helps him; it is a great place for men to learn to be better men.
I have gone through those steps over and over again, trying to stop one addiction at a time. (One failed relationship at a time.)
I did not realize that what I thought was a character defect was actually a crime that was committed against me. Sexual violence is not a sin: It is a crime. It is a power dynamic, not a sexual one. As much as it is essential to realize that we should not shame people for their sexual identity, we should not shame someone for speaking their truth about sexual violence.
I have, somehow, figured out why I hated myself for all this time. Why I did not believe God was working for me.
Now that Harvey Weinstein is going on trial, I know how anxious the silence-breakers must be. I want them to know they are not alone, and that by speaking your truth you get to write a new ending for yourself and for the people you are meant to serve.
It was not your fault, and may justice be served.
And it is essential to see what power does when put in the hands of the right people.