Making Ellen DeGeneres
It was a bit of serendipity that I completed my drawing of Ellen DeGeneres on the eve of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that essentially invalidates DOMA—the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. These two good things are seemingly unrelated, but not. I think the Universe might have played a part in the timing of me drawing Ellen.
I’ve been a fan of Ellen since her goofy standup. We’re probably close in age—I could look it up but I’m a little lazy today. I had a crush on Ellen before she came out. After she came out, I still had a crush on her. Not because of who she loves, but because of who she is. (I looked it up; Ellen is 4 years older than me, but looks younger, and hotter—but just barely).
Ellen became a trailblazer when she admitted publicly that she was, in fact, a lesbian. Gasp. It was 1997 – she did so publicly and as the character named Ellen in her epoymous sitcom. It really was a big deal, although now it seems a little shrugworthy. Why do we care? Why does it matter? Things are very different now than they were in the mid-to-late 90s. We really were socially backwards, believing it odd that someone would be candid about who they were. It seems so strange today because Ellen made it the new-and-improved normal.
Ellen matters because she became someone who made it clear that who you are and who you love isn’t something you hide. We should all be able to make our way being exactly who we are. Ellen did that. And because she did, she made it easier for others who followed. “See Mom? Ellen’s gay. It’s not scary or bad. It can be kind of fun. Let’s dance!”
Ellen and her marriage to Portia de Rossi is one of those cultural touchstones that made the Supreme Court’s decision possible. How could we deny anyone the rights and freedoms granted heterosexual marriages? To do so is amoral.
Equality for all? Duh.