On Nov 22, President Barack Obama named 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Among them was out LGBTQ equality advocate, comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who will visit the White House today to be honored.
The White House said this about DeGeneres: “Ellen DeGeneres is an award-winning comedian who has hosted her popular daytime talk show, ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ since 2003 with her trademarked humor, humility, and optimism. In 2003 Ellen lent her voice to a forgetful but unforgettable little fish named Dory in Finding Nemo.’ She reprised her role again in 2016 with the hugely successful ‘Finding Dory.’ Ellen also hosted the Academy Awards twice, in 2007 and 2014. In 1997, after coming out herself, DeGeneres made TV history when her character on Ellen revealed she was a lesbian. In her work and in her life, she has been a passionate advocate for equality and fairness.”
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Other recipients of this year’s honor include Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert DeNiro, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan and Lorne Michaels.
The event will be streamed live at 2:55pm EST at www.whitehouse.gov/live.