Portia DeGeneres‘ appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show yesterday was only one of the show’s great lesbian episodes. In her 25th and final season, we’re hoping there’s even more support for lesbians and bisexual women to follow. And we have a lot of reason to believe there will be: Not only has she helped Suze Orman become a world-renowned financial expert and TV personality, but she’s signed Rosie O’Donnell and Cat Cora on to host shows on her new OWN Network.
Here are some of our favorite lesbian moments on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
12. "Ultimate Wildest Dreams" Sept. 2010
Partners and Centreville Pie owners Kristin and Laurie just wanted Oprah to taste one of their pies when she was in Cape Cod, so they sent over a few. Oprah fell in love, and brought them on her show to announce she’d hooked them up with a partnership with Harry & David so that they can sell their pies worldwide.
11. "23 Years Later, Oprah Returns to Williamson, West Virginia" Sept. 2010
Out lesbian Anna Sisco talked about her brother who was openly gay and died of AIDS after being the subject of ridicule and hate on an 1980s episode of Oprah. When Oprah asked if Anna felt it was easier to be gay in Williamson today, she said, "Toward gay women, I can say, it’s easier to accept than gay men, because that’s what they all tell me. But I’m reluctant to say complete, absolutely positive yes. Unfortunately I think people are still geographically uneducated about anyone other than in this area. I hate to say that, but it’s the way I feel."
10. "Gay Around The World" Oct. 2007
Out Jamaican poet Staceyann Chin was one of the guests, and she discussed the sexual assault and fear she faced as a gay woman in her home country. "I grew up listening to these songs like ‘Boom Bye-Bye,’" she told Oprah. "It really says that, you know, the sound of a gunshot is like boom bye bye, you know, you’re shooting a gay man in the head. They have to die. You always have to be looking over your shoulder for your own safety."
9. "Rosie O’Donnell on Life, Love and Family" Jan. 2010
After her break-up from long-time partner Kelli, Rosie opened up to Oprah about her new partner and what will happen with her children. She also discussed the pressure she felt in being a public poster child for a lesbian mother. "I remember when Melissa [Etheridge] and Julie broke up, I called Melissa and said: ‘Come on. There’s so few,’" Rosie said. "And she said, ‘Ro, your first goal in life is to be true to yourself, and your children will look at you and know when you’re living an authentic life.’"
8. "Chely Wright’s Childhood Dreams and Secrets" May 2010
The entire hour was dedicated to Chely’s knowing she was gay, being a closeted country star and how she decided to come out to her father. Her father was in attendance, and he recalled her coming out moment: "I didn’t say anything. I just grabbed her and I put my arms around her and I told her it was all right."
7. "Melissa Etheridge’s New Outlook" April 2010
The singer discussed her split with Tammy Lynn Michaels and how she is attempting to live fearlessly after surviving cancer and moving on with her life. Melissa told Oprah, "As I’ve gone through this life, having gone through breast cancer almost six years ago now, [I’ve learned] that it’s about evolving. I feel like now I’m walking my life. I’m realizing that I’m no good to anyone else unless I’m completely in love with myself and good with myself."