Twenty years ago, Ellen DeGeneres made television history when she came out as a lesbian in April 1997, first on a series of talkshows and then through the voice of her namesake character during a special episode of her hit sitcom, Ellen.
It’s easy to forget the amount of courage such a decision took back in 1997 — just as hard as it is today, perhaps, to understand the ferocity of the backlash. The popular comedian, actress and now Emmy Award-winning TV host became the first openly gay actress to play a lesbian character on television, and an inspirational figure to countless LGBT teens and adults who were struggling to accept themselves for who they were. But her courage came with a high cost. Her show was canceled soon after, and Ellen was blacklisted by casting agents. She was without work for three years, and plummeted into a depression.
Yet Ellen DeGeneres pushed on through the hard times, and ultimately emerged stronger and more successful than ever, while also nudging America forward on its path towards wider acceptance of LGBTs. Her popular talkshow, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has been showered with no fewer than 59 Daytime Emmy Awards in its 14 year run, as well as 17 People’s Choice Awards. And in November 2016, President Barack Obama famously got “choked up” while awarding Ellen the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Here are our Top 24 Ellen DeGeneres Quotes to Inspire Pride in Who You Are.
Top 24 Ellen DeGeneres Quotes to Inspire Pride in Who You Are
It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique.
True beauty is not related to what color your hair is or what color your eyes are. True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass.
If we’re destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there’s got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.
While I was doing stand-up, I thought I knew for sure that success meant getting everyone to like me. So I became whoever I thought people wanted me to be. I’d say yes when I wanted to say no, and I even wore a few dresses.
We’re all supposed to be different. I want so badly to encourage everyone to say, “Who am I and how do I want to live my life?
Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come.
I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.
I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego.
Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else’s expense. And I find that that’s just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else’s feelings.
Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.
I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.
I am saddened by how people treat one another and how we are so shut off from one another and how we judge one another, when the truth is, we are all one connected thing. We are all from the same exact molecules.
Though you feel like your not where you’re suppose to be, you shouldn’t worry because the next turn you take, it will lead you to where you wanna go.
Life is like one big Mardi Gras. But instead of showing boobs, show people your brain, and if they like what they see, you’ll have more beads than you know what to do with.
Do things that make you happy within the confines of the legal system.
Don’t worry about what people say about you. Let the naysayers nay. They will eventually grow tired of naying.
I’m a comedian, and I definitely see the humor in a lot of things. I am also sad a lot. I cry often and easily. I think you’re supposed to feel all kinds of things.
I think beauty comes from actually knowing who you are. That’s real beauty to me.
It is failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.
Do we have to know who’s gay and who’s straight? Can’t we just love everybody and judge them by the car they drive?
I don’t know what people are scared of. Maybe they think their children will be influenced, but I’ve got to tell you, I was raised by two heterosexuals. Everywhere I looked — heterosexuals. And they did not influence me. It’s time we love people for who they are and let them love who they want.
Be open to learning new lessons, even if they contradict the lessons you learned yesterday.
When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail and both are equally important.
Embrace who you are. Literally. Hug yourself. Accept who you are.
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