US First Lady Michelle Obama has said that seeing LGBT people on television and in movies has been vital in the fight for equality.

Speaking to American magazine Variety about how she has used TV to promote her healthy lifestyle initiatives, she added that using pop culture has provided a platform to stand up for minorities.

“For so many people, television and movies may be the only way they understand people who aren’t like them,” she said in the interview.

“And when I come across many little black girls who come up to me over the course of these seven and a half years with tears in their eyes, and they say: ‘Thank you for being a role model for me. I don’t see educated black women on TV, and the fact that you’re First Lady validates who I am.'”

The First Lady said by seeing different races, cultures and lifestyles on television it educates people to not make assumptions about people and not believe stereotypes.

Referencing Modern Family’s gay couple, Mitch and Cam, Mrs Obama said: “They become part of who you are. You share their pains. You understand their fears. They make you laugh, and they change how you see the world.

“And that is particularly true in a country where there are still millions of people who live in communities where they can live their whole lives not having contact or exposure with people who aren’t like them, whether that is race or religion or simply lifestyle.

“The only way that millions of people get to know other folks and the way they live…is through the power of television and movies.”

The First Lady has become a viral sensation in recent years with appearances on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke and her stirring endorsement of Hillary Clinton.