The iconic lesbian TV host did not hide her emotions while receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama this Tuesday. Ellen came out almost 20 years ago when most celebrities were afraid to talk openly about being LGBT. It could damage her career, but she did it and became an example for every single American (not only for LGBT, but the community has a special reason to be grateful to Ellen).
In his speech to invited guests and dignitaries, President Obama said that Ellen “reminds us that we have more in common than we realise. It’s easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far, where now marriage is equal under the law, just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago. Just how important it was, not just to the LGBT community, but for all of us to see somebody so full of kindness and light, somebody we liked so much, somebody who could be our neighbor, or our colleague, or our sister, challenge our own assumptions. Remind us that we have more in common that we realize. Push our country in the direction of justice. What an incredible burden that was to bear, to risk your career like that. People don’t do that very often. And then to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders,” Obama said during the presentation.