Speech! Ellen DeGeneres Received the Medal of Freedom from Obama
Ellen DeGeneres received the emotional award from President Barak Obama. You will find what she did and what President Obama said in this post.
Who is Ellen DeGeneres?
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Ellen DeGeneres is a comedian and a host of Ellen DeGeneres Show.
I love the show and it’s one of the popular shows in US and Canada.
She was born in Louisiana, in 1958. In 1980s she started her career as a comedian and later appeared on TV shows.
She became very popular and married Portia de Rossi in 2008.
What did Ellen do?
She came out that she was gay in 1997.
She must have been thinking over and over and here she is.
Decided to come out of the closet.
The reaction of others? Not great at all.
People gave her discriminating look and even her family didn’t understand.
She feared her fans would turn against her if she came out. She came out because she wanted to be honest and be “herself.”
What is The Medal of Freedom?
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The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the US.
It’s given to those people who have contributed awareness of world peace, significant endeavors and national interests.
The recipients for 2016 includes Ellen DeGeneres, Bill and Melinda Gates, Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Robert Redford to name a few.
President Obama’s Full Speech
Below is President Obama’s full speech. He appreciates how Ellen DeGeneres has been contributing her career to raise awareness of sexual minorities.
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 than 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. But it’s like Ellen says: We all want a tortilla chip that can support the weight of guacamole.
Which really makes no sense to me, but I thought would brighten the mood, because I was getting kind of choked up. And she did pay a price—we don’t remember this. I hadn’t remembered it.
She did, for a pretty long stretch of time—even in Hollywood. And yet, today, every day, in every way, Ellen counters what too often divides us with the countless things that bind us together—inspires us to be better, one joke, one dance at a time.
What can Japanese Learn from Ellen?
North America is more open in terms of sexual minorities compared to Japan.
Yet even in North America, some people still discriminate and they don’t understand why some are non-heterosexual.
More and more Japanese are aware of sexual minorities yet some think it’s a taboo to talk about. They think sexual minorities are abnormal, so those minorities tend to hide their sexual orientation.
Not only sexual minorities but if you are minority in any sort of group, you might feel uncomfortable in Japan.
If you were in your 20s, they would say “Why you don’t date with anyone? ”
If you were in your 30s, they would say “why you don’t marry?”
If you were in your 40s, they would say “why you don’t have kids?”
Majority doesn’t mean they are the norm and stronger but people tend to think in that way.
I believe that everyone has freedom to choose. Media and religious beliefs brainwash people that heterosexual is normal while homosexual is abnormal.
Why? Is that because the number of heterosexual is greater than that of homosexual?
Unfortunately sexual minorities and any sort of minorities in Japan still experience discrimination.
I hope government educates children since they are small to make minorities normal. To make them visible.
I see a lot of gay couples in Canada and USA and I don’t feel uncomfortable. They are proud to love and be loved. That is fantastic and hope Japan changes gradually just like Ellen DeGeneres did.
She is truly brave!!
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