Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
By sharing his story, Tyler hopes other men will be encouraged to stand tall, speak out and begin to heal—just as he started his journey toward healing after watching an episode of The Oprah Show years ago.
"Nobody's telling me I'm special. Nobody's telling me what I can do, and here you are on television," Tyler says. "I turn on the TV, and I see you. You say [during that show that] it's cathartic to start writing. I started writing down all of the things that happened to me. ... It was a chain reaction."
Watch Tyler's emotional "thank you" to Oprah on behalf of millions.
Tyler credits Oprah with helping to change his life, but he also credits his younger self, the boy who went through so much pain.
Oprah: What do you think you owe [your younger self]?
Tyler: My life. I think that he had to endure so much and had no recourse. He had no help. He just had to walk through it. So he gave birth to the man I am. I owe him to live the best life I can. I owe him to be the best father that I will be someday. I owe him to use my life and my words and my work to encourage, to inspire, to do what you did for me.
Oprah: What would Tyler Perry say to that little boy now?
Tyler: I would tell him: "It's going to be all right. I'm going to make you proud."