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Hilary Swank Says Transgender Acceptance Has 'A Long Way To Go'

04/12/2015 02:06 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

This was a different kind of acceptance speech.

Hilary Swank, who won an Oscar for portraying a murdered transgender teen in 1999's "Boys Don't Cry," says acceptance of transgender people has progressed somewhat.

"I think we've taken strides since that movie," she said Thursday on "The Meredith Vieira Show." "We have a long way to go."

"It's astonishing to me that we are here in 2015 and there are so many issues that need to be looked at and handled and we shouldn't dictate who people should love," Swank elaborated. "Let people love people."

The issue of transphobia has emerged in the headlines lately. Transgender teen Taylor Alesena died by suicide after allegedly being bullied by classmates.

On the White House website Wednesday, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett wrote a post calling for a ban on conversion therapy, ABC News noted. The letter was in response to a transgender youth who died by suicide in December after being forced into the practice.

Watch Swank's interview above.

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