13 Times Celebs Came Out as Powerful Allies for the LGBT Community (VIDEOS)

Caroline Olney | Jun 23, 2016 Celebrities
13 Times Celebs Came Out as Powerful Allies for the LGBT Community (VIDEOS)

In the discussions surrounding LGBT rights, the LGBT voices are the most important. Of course they are. Their speeches and thoughts and opinions are always going to be the most essential to the movement -- but, every now and then, a speech from a celebrity ally will catch our eye. What can we say? We've got a soft spot for celebs who use their platforms to talk about issues that are important to us, and an even bigger soft spot for speeches that give us goosebumps. 

Because we like ugly crying and making our hearts explode with love and happiness, we've rounded up 13 of the best speeches from famous allies. Let your hearts burst with ours, friends.


Image via GLAAD/YouTube

  • Anne Hathaway


    In 2008, the Human Rights Campaign awarded Anne Hathaway its Ally Award, and her acceptance speech was so beautiful, powerful, and direct that it made headlines everywhere. It read as sort of a tribute to her older brother, who she explained came out as gay many years ago. "My family and I will help the good fight continue until that long awaited moment arrives, when our rights are equal and when the political limits on love have been smashed," she said.

  • Miley Cyrus


    Technically, Miley Cyrus probably falls somewhere on the spectrum/in the grayness between L, G, B, and T. But she's still an ally, and one who's done an insane amount of work for the cause. Her Happy Hippie foundation rallies young people for the cause, and she won the 2015 Vanguard Award because of it. "Do and be whoever the f*ck you want," she said in true Miley style. Okay, Miley. We will.

  • Kerry Washington


    In 2015, GLAAD gave Kerry Washington an award for being a longtime ally of the organization and Kerry did it justice with her killer acceptance speech. "We need more LGBT representation in the media," she said. "We need more LGBT characters and more LGBT storytelling. We need more diverse LGBT representation, and by that I mean lots of different kinds of LGBT people living all different kinds of lives. We need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera."

  • Daniel Radcliffe


    Daniel Radcliffe graciously accepted the Celebrity Straight Ally Award in 2015, but he did so with a caveat: "It is slightly double-edged," he said, "because it's sad that an award for this needs to exist. It is odd and bizarre that I am essentially getting an award for displaying basic human decency."

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  • Lena Dunham


    The Point Foundation grants scholarships to members of the LGBT community, and its Horizon Award goes to someone who has taken a leadership role as an advocate for the LGBT community and showed unwavering support. In her funny and Lena-style acceptance speech, she talked about her sister's coming out, saying, "She was assured by the adults in her life that she was not only accepted but adored for who she is. I am so happy that this is the way she was able to enter the world as a woman and an LGBTQ person. But not everyone is so lucky. I am keenly and painfully aware that so many of you have been faced with a lack of acceptance, a lack of support, a lack of belief in your inherent right to love how and who you want to."

  • Lady Gaga


    Lady Gaga is an ally to trump all allies, and her speech at the DC gay rights rally in 2009 is a speech to trump all speeches. "We must demand full equality for all," she said. "They say this country is free and they say this country is equal, but it is not equal if it's sometimes." Gaga credits her success to the LGBT community, and in return, she commits herself to them. Bless.

  • Hillary Clinton


    It wasn't until 2011 that Hillary Clinton made her succinct and powerful "gay rights are human rights" speech to the United Nations, but that was the first time the US took a strong and clear stance on LGBT rights in an international forum. It was nothing short of iconic, and it might still be one of her strongest political moments to date. 

  • Chelsea Clinton


    Since we're talking about Clinton women already, we might as well talk about Chelsea, too. Her words at the 2013 Time to Thrive conference maybe sums this whole thing up best of all: "We've made tremendous progress on the legal, political, and cultural fronts, but we should not mistake progress for success, because we have a lot more work to do."

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  • Shonda Rhimes


    As one of the most popular and most prolific creating forces behind our TVs, Shonda Rhimes is in an incredible position of power. And because Shonda Rhimes is nothing short of perfect, she uses that power for good. Shonda's worlds look as rich in race and gender and orientation as our own does, and for that she was honored by the Human Rights Campaign in 2015. "You should get to turn on the TV and see your tribe," she said. "And your tribe can be any kind of person, anyone you identify with, anyone who feels like you, who feels like home, who feels like truth." 

  • Kesha


    Kesha has been through a lot this year, and we love her for every second of it. But we love her even more for stepping out in the midst of her own personal hurricane and giving a gorgeous, honest speech about LBGT rights after accepting HRC's Visibility Award. "It's really hard to have confidence in yourself and love yourself when the world criticizes you for being yourself," she said.

  • Demi Lovato


    Demi Lovato freestyled her speech at the 2016 GLAAD Awards, but that really just made it more genuine and heartfelt than we could have imagined. "I'm so excited for the future. I want to be a voice to my generation," she said. "... this award means so much to me, more than music, any music award, because this is real stuff."

  • Hilary Swank


    "I pray for the day when we not only accept our differences but we actually celebrate our diversity," Hilary Swank said in 2000 after winning the Oscar for best actress for her role in Boys Don't Cry. The movie told the true story of a trans boy in Nebraska who died at the hands of hate. Even then, Hilary and the crew knew how important the story was, and Hilary's dedication to Brandon, the boy the film was based on, was a perfect summation of what the movie was about.

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  • Kelly Ripa


    Kelly Ripa received an award from GLAAD thanking her for her inclusive and empathetic approach to the LGBT community in her work, but in her speech she turned it back on them and said she really had the community to thank. "The LGBT community -- this community -- has led the way in treating people like people," she said. "Oftentimes those who are the most discriminated against are the most empathetic and the most inclusive."

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