At a time when we are all looking for more love and hope, Ellen DeGeneres was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday.
This medal is given to those who have made an extraordinary contribution to peace in our world and is the highest civilian honour one can receive.
Watching this video of President Obama embracing DeGeneres brought great warmth to my heart. He acknowledged her for the work she has done to transform old beliefs and made me remember that we do have a lot to give thanks for.
Equality is not something that is easily won and Ellen has been one person brave enough to fight for it. She came out publicly over 20 years ago at a time when this was still discouraged by the majority of people.
Her contribution to challenge our assumptions about what was “normal” has been a huge support to the LGBT community and to everyone.
She asked many to accept what they thought they could not and was strong enough to hide her truth no longer.
This woman is what I am grateful for—and for all souls who are courageous enough to show themselves, challenge norms and stand by their own beliefs in the face of great adversity.
She transformed us with a sense of humour and a lightness that couldn’t help but get stuck into our hearts—and initially she was shunned for this.
She sacrificed and lived with great criticism for years, but persevered, and this is a message we need for today.
Freedom is not found in giving up our truths. Freedom is found by speaking them, living them everyday and finding enough of a sense of humour to laugh with, and love those, who do not see things our way.
Thank you Ellen. You have taught us well.
“Ellen counters what too often divides us, with the countless things that bind us together, inspire us to be better, one joke, one dance at a time.”
~ Barack Obama
Author: Sarah Norrad
Image: Video Still
Editor: Travis May