In a time of great uncertainty, for the LGBTQ community, and in a sense, the entire world, President Obama just did something absolutely beautiful.
Today, he gave his final Presidential Medals of Freedom to 21 recipients including Diana Ross, Tom Hanks, Melinda Gates, Robert De Niro and Ellen DeGeneres.
Take a look at his remarks before giving the medal — the highest civilian honor in America — to Ellen:
“It’s easy to forget now,” the president says, “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 that 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.”