Happy 60th Birthday, Ellen Degeneres! For 32 years (her first television appearance was in 1986!), you’ve made us laugh, you’ve made us ugly cry, and you’ve inspired us to be better and kinder.
Starting from your revolutionary coming out on your sitcom Ellen in 1997, to being out and proud on the cover of Times Magazine, to chatting daily with our favorite celebs, to surprising good samaritans with lavish gifts, to being the voice behind Finding Nemo’s beloved Dory, you’ve made a forever imprint on our gay hearts.
I could go on and on about how fab Ellen is but I want to start out with how f*cking important she is in lesbian history. Sometimes I don’t think lesbians my age know the impact she’s made and the road she paved. If you haven’t taken time to fully appreciate Ellen for the badass she is, what better day than her birthday to pay her proper tribute? Ellen was the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character on television.
The visibility and platform Ellen has given to the gay community is incredible, mountain-moving, life-changing. Seriously. I know that most times we laugh at her popping up behind the Kardashians or making audience members shake their asses (which we love!!!)– but her saying “I am Ellen and I am gay” on public TV in the nineties was a pivotal point in American LGBT history.
Ellen keeps it classy in way of controversy, but isn’t afraid to get political. She is generous, but never acts like a savior. She is f*cking hilarious, but never at someone else’s expense. She is universally loved from soccer moms to dyke princesses to Judith Butler queers to frat bros. Everyone loves Ellen– she’s like pizza. She is giving and loving. She’s brought us some of our favorite moments. She’s introduced us to some our of favorite people. She’s done such nice things that have made us cry at our desks watching Facebook videos when we should we working. She’s scared the shit out of our favorite celebrities. She is also a textbook chapstick lesbian, me and Zara Barrie’s weakness.
I truly love and appreciate Ellen. She is an icon. I don’t remember the exact moment I saw on Ellen on TV, but I do know that my gaydar went off like crazy and I ~knew~ she was a lez. A lez on TV killing it. It felt amazing to see as a young and scared baby dyke.
Here are my top 10 fav lesbian Ellen moments.
10. Ellen comes out as gay on her sitcom on the episode “Puppy” by saying “I’m gay!” into a microphone
9. Ellen is interviewed by Oprah about her coming out process in 1997
“I’m Coming Out” is her entrance song, obviously.
8. Ellen asks her gorgeous wife Portia questions from fans
7. Ellen plays ‘Would You Rather?’ with Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato chooses Rihanna over and over and can we just say? They’d make one hell of a couple.
6. Ellen says #metoo
5. Ellen responds to a homophobic pastor
When addressing an anti-gay pastor that accused Ellen of trying to influence people to be gay (ridiculous) she responded with hilarious jokes and this beautiful statement: “The only way I’m trying to influence people is to get them to be more kind and compassionate to one another.”
4. Ellen roasts Trump through Finding Dory metaphor
“You won’t believe it but that wall has almost no effect in keeping them out.” She manages to critique Trump’s travel ban while talking about a children’s fish movie, all while looking swaggy AF in a bomber jacket.
3. Ellen talks with Ruby Rose
Too much lesbian iconicity for one video.
2. Ellen interviews Ellen (Ellen lesbian inception)
“I’m grateful to you because you did it [came out] in a time that it was much harder and much scarier.”
1. Ellen emotionally reflects on the 20th anniversary of her coming out episode
“I’m Ellen and I’m gay.” And we f*cking love you. Happy birthday! GO wishes you another year of love, laughs, and lesbianism. <3