Yet another example as to why Ellen is my role model.
In 1997, Ellen came out as gay on her sitcom, Ellen. She was met with a horrendous amount of backlash from society and the media. She was the butt of every joke on late night TV. She was dubbed “Ellen DeGenerate.” She even received death threats.
Ellen went from the most popular sitcom actress to the most hated. Desperate, she turned to the gay community for support. However, Chastity Bono, a fellow lesbian and a representative for GLAAD at the time, betrayed Ellen, telling Variety Magazine, “[‘Ellen’] is so gay it’s excluding a large part of our society … we have to be realistic. This is network primetime.”
Ellen trusted Chastity to help as she was also gay, and would understand what Ellen was going through. Instead, Chastity publicly denounced Ellen, leaving Ellen alone to defend herself. Ellen’s show was subsequently cancelled.
Flash forward to 2011. Chastity Bono is now Chaz Bono, a transgender male. He is going to be a contestant of Dancing with the Stars, much to the displeasure of the public. He receives backlash, similar to the kind Ellen endured in 1997. In response, Ellen defends Chaz in her monologue (seen here), and invites Chaz on her show to give his perspective.
Ellen chose to help Chaz, who was being persecuted by the media, even though he had hurt Ellen severely in the past. Ellen definitely did not have to have Chaz on her show, but she did to be kind. Ellen not only forgave Chaz, but gave him the support that he failed to give her earlier.
Be kind to one another. It’s not just something Ellen says after every show; it’s what she lives by. And we should all try to live by it too.