(The Root) — Oprah Winfrey recently admitted that she received some of the most vitriolic and racist criticism of her career for supporting Ellen DeGeneres when she came out as a lesbian in 1997. Winfrey had guest-starred on the well-known episode of DeGeneres’ sitcom in which the comedian let the world in on her sexual orientation.
Though just 15 years ago, the reaction might as well have been a lifetime ago, considering how much societal attitudes about gays and lesbians have changed. This year President Barack Obama became the highest profile African American to express his support for same-sex marriage. Some have speculated that the move could hurt him with black voters, who have traditionally lagged behind other communities in supporting same-sex marriage. However, recent polls indicate that this issue has not driven black voters into the arms of the Romney campaign. In addition, other black celebrities have since followed Winfrey and President Obama in displaying support for gay rights. Below we recall 11 other notables who are also gay-rights advocates.
Union was recently photographed attending the same-sex wedding of her friends Jason Bolden and Adair Curtis.
The R&B singer, who has shown his support for a number of political causes over the years, applauded President Obama‘s evolution on the issue of same-sex marriage.
The Broadway star, who has won a record five Tony Awards, has been so committed to support for LGBT rights and same-sex marriage that her Twitter handle is actually @AudraEqualityMc.