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All these people are celebrating Ellen for being out for 20 years

Meka Beresford April 29, 2017
Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen is celebrating 20 years since she came out in a landmark decision to reveal her sexuality of not just her sitcom character, but herself on television.

The groundbreaking “The Puppy Episode”, in which Ellen’s character, Ellen Morgan, came out as the first lead lesbian character on television first aired 20 years ago.

But it isn’t just Ellen who is celebrating. Top political figures and star studded celebrities have all sent the star their congratulations. Here is some of our favourites.

1. Michelle Obama

The former first lady appeared on Ellen’s talk show to discuss the historic moment. “Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of announcing to the world who you are. Time and time again you have shown us what love really means,” Obama kindly said.

“You are brave. You are kind. You are a terrible person to go shopping with, and I absolutely adore you. Congratulations again, love you much”

2. Samira Wiley

“I feel like in my own career I am so lucky and so privileged that I never actually had to have that moment of ‘I’m going to come out’, I always was able to just be.

“Why? Because of people like Ellen, because of people like Lea Delaria because of people who stood up in a time when it wasn’t okay to say ‘yes it is ok’. Because of achievements like that I never had to have some big coming out story, I was just able to just be from the moment I stepped onto the platform of the public consciousness.”

3. Laura Linney

“How much, how far we’ve come and how little we’ve come. The ebbs and flows of social progress are amazing You think about the progress in gay rights and yet there’s still such violence and horrible things are going on. It’s just a very strange circle.”

4. Portia De Rossi

“When Ellen came out every single gay person in the world was just holding their breath and wondering what was going to happen her. But I don’t think anyone was doing it more than actors at that time. If she did it and kept her career together then maybe there was a chance that some one like I could do it.

“When everything came crashing to a holt three months or so after she came out it was a very clear message sent by the TV industry that it wasn’t going to tolerate gay people and it was incredibly difficult when she disappeared for three years. It was a horrible time because she was the one that was brave, the one who took the brunt of it. So when I heard she had a talk show I remember tuning in the first episode the day it premiered and I remember watching the monologue and I thought she’s done it.”

5. Oprah Winfrey

“You are responsible for so much of that changing. You were the bravest woman ever.”

6. Laura Dern

“I have to say, just watching the clip, it made me so emotional because of all the things I feel privileged to experience in my life as a human but also as an actor, there’s no greater gift than being the person that was with you and looking in your eyes as you said those words (‘I am gay’).”

“And watching you have this catharsis or ritual and the audience support and a sort of holding — literal holding, I remember we were kind of holding each other up through this very emotional moment. It was so profound and I feel so blessed that I got to be there and witness that,” she added.

More: 20 years, coming out, Ellen, LGBT, Michelle Obama, US

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