Happy Pride Month! Every year, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month is celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots. The riots, which took place in Manhattan, were a crucial tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the U.S. So this month, we celebrate the massive strides the LGBT community has made since then. In particular, leaps like last year's landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality. Progress like this is due to the forward-thinking advocates and allies who have worked tirelessly to achieve a more unified and equal existence for all.
And among those advocates and allies stand celebrities of various sexual orientations, who have lent their voices to the LGBT community and their fight for equality. Here, we've rounded up some of our favorite celebrity quotes on being gay, coming out, and the continued push for equal rights.
1. Ellen DeGeneres
"The only way I’m trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another. That is the message that I’m sending out. I don't have an agenda. I'm not here to brainwash anyone. I want you to live your lives being exactly who you are. Be true to yourself. The most important thing is to be true to yourself," said DeGeneres on her show.
2. Cynthia Nixon
"When women got the vote, they did not redefine voting. When African-Americans got the right to sit at a lunch counter alongside white people, they did not redefine eating out. They were simply invited to the table. That is all we want to do; we have no desire to change marriage. We want to be entitled to not only the same privileges but the same responsibilities as straight people," said Nixon at 2010 The New Yorker Festival.
3. Barack Obama
"To Malia and Sasha and their friends, discrimination in any form against anyone doesn't make sense. It doesn't dawn on them that friends who are gay or friends' parents who are same-sex couples should be treated differently than anyone else. That's powerful," said Obama to Out magazine in 2015.
4. Ellen Page
"I used to feel this constant pressure to be more feminine; a quiet or sometimes not-so-quiet demand - 'You need to wear a dress or people will think you're gay.'" Now I feel a sense of freedom in dressing, and I'm enjoying it so much. I love wearing a Saint Laurent suit to an event," said the actress in a Vogue article in 2015.
5. Laverne Cox
"It’s such a wonderful moment in my career and for my community—there’s been a tipping point of taking control of our own narratives with unprecedented visibility. But I’m an artist, and even before I knew I was trans, I knew I was a performer," Cox told InStyle in 2015.
6. Magic Johnson
"He came out on his own terms, and that's what I'm really proud of. He is courageous and strong enough to let the world know who he is," said Johnson of his son EJ.
7. Jim Parsons
“All the reactions I got were positive. And the other positive was that there was almost no reaction at all, which was, for me, the most close-up view of progress I’d ever personally seen. This is less and less interesting by the day," Parsons told New York magazine in 2014.
8. Zachary Quinto
"When I was growing up, there was no one in a movie the size or scale of Star Trek who was openly gay. I understand people's interest in having a conversation with me about it, but I also feel like, 'Let's stop having that conversation and just have the conversation about how we can continue to encourage the evolution and the change that's already brought us so far,'" said Quinto in Entertainment Weekly in 2013
9. Sam Smith
"With the whole gay thing, I've had zero reaction, which says something beautiful about our generation and how things are getting a little bit better," Smith told Teen Vogue in 2014.