Amid the ceremony for the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award on Tuesday at the White House, President Obama became emotional while applauding the bravery it took Ellen DeGeneres to turn out as gay about 20 years back.

President Obama said that today we overlook “just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago” and that we comparably forget “just how important it was”, not just for her but also the nation as a whole to understand that someone “so filled with light”, somebody like their adjacent neighbor could be LGBT.

Obama likewise noticed that DeGeneres’ way to achievement today was a long way from smooth. “Also, she did pay a price ,” he said.

“We don’t remember this, I hadn’t remembered it. She did, for a pretty long stretch of time–even in Hollywood,” the president included, alluding to DeGeneres’ vocation after her sitcom Ellen was scratched off.

“And yet today, every day in every way Ellen counters what too often divides us with the countless things that bind us together and inspires us to be better, one joke, one dance at a time.”

Watch the video below:

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