Celebrities Who Are promoting Gay Rights
by Benjamin Rivard
Around the world, many celebrities are actively promoting gay rights. Famous people such as Ellen DeGeneres and Wentworth Miller are part of them.
First, Ellen DeGeneres is an American talk-show animator and comedian. In 1997, she decided to come out of the closet during an episode of her sitcom. At that time, important sponsors like JCPenney and Chrysler chose to remove their advertisements from her show. However, Ellen and her TV show stayed popular among the American public. She actually decided to assert herself as a gay person for all the teenagers who realize that they’re gay and think of committing suicide. In 2008, she reacted in many interviews to California’s law who banned gay marriage. On her website, she said: "Here we just had a giant step toward equality [with the election of Barack Obama] and then on the very next day, we took a giant step away." (People.com, 2008) Nowadays, she is JCPenney’s spokesperson. In fact, in 2012, a group called “One Million Moms” asked the company to remove her from their advertisements because she is not promoting traditional values. Fortunately, the company decided to keep Ellen as their spokesman and stood up for her.
Second, the actor Wentworth Miller decided to publicly declare his homosexuality in 2013. At the age of 15, he actually attempted to commit suicide because since he was young, he always felt like a target. In 2013, his coming out was justified by a letter intended for the organizers of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival. Since Russia adopted many anti-gay laws, he felt that he could not attend an event in a country “where people like [him] are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly”. (Express.co.uk, 2013)
Finally, as celebrities advocate gay rights, they contribute to raise awareness in different countries; but also, they directly help gay people who feel isolated from society.