In accepting the “Choice Comedian” award at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, openly gay Ellen DeGeneres gave a moving speech about acceptance.

“I wanna say also it feels good to be chosen but there was a time in my life that I was not chosen,” DeGeneres said. “I was the opposite of chosen because I was different. And I think I wanna make sure that everyone knows that what makes you different right now, makes you stand out later in life.”

“So you should be proud of being different, proud of who you are. … The most important thing I wanna say is just really embrace who you are, because being unique is very, very important and fitting in is not all that matters. It's being unique and being who you are.”

After coming out gay in 1997, ratings on her sitcom, Ellen, plummeted and ABC canceled the show. She's said in previous interviews that she turned things around by convincing Hollywood that she was “not just gay” but “a funny woman who happens to be gay.”

DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, on Sunday celebrated their seventh anniversary. De Rossi was in the audience Sunday to offer her support.