Ellen DeGeneres Sitting Next To George W. Bush Is Cool, Calling Him A Friend Isn't

Celebrities just don’t make friends like us common-folk do.

If you’re wondering why Ellen DeGeneres is absolutely everywhere right now, here’s the go: she was photographed sitting next to the former US President George W. Bush at an NFL game.

The photograph has left the internet divided: some are saying that she’s setting a good example of tolerance and kindness, others are saying it’s completely baffling and morally wrong. There is no in-between.

If you’ve been living under a rock or simply don’t know the deal with Bush, here’s the key information:

  1. In 2004, when Bush was President, he announced that he wanted to amend the US constitution to ban gay marriage.
  2. Bush was also the president who instructed the US army to enter into war with Iraq and Afghanistan. His motivation apparently stemmed from the belief that these countries were harbouring weapons of mass destruction. Those countries, however, were not harbouring weapons of mass destruction.

Degeneres received so much backlash for the shot, she ended up speaking out about it on her show on Monday:

“I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different… Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I am not going to be friends with them. When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”

Ellen Degeneres
It’s a hard pill to swallow.

The people applauding Ellen’s stance are saying it’s a good, healthy thing to hang with people who share opposing opinions and that spending time with someone certainly does not equate sharing their beliefs.

The photo, however, has angered quite a few. It probably doesn’t help Degeneres’ case that earlier this year she backed controversial comedian Kevin Hart even while he refused to apologise for a series of old, homophobic tweets.

It was a weird time for Degeneres.

The real question here: would Degeneres and Bush share chips, guac and a nice glass of red on a Friday night? That’s what friends do, after all. It’s hard to imagine a man who literally tried to ban gay marriage for an entire country would be down to dine with married lesbians.

Ellen Degeneres probably just wanted to “keep the peace” by calling Bush a friend, which is sort of, well, disappointing. It would’ve been much more interesting and cool if she’d used her platform to assert the fact that she disagreed with Bush’s opinions yet made an example of being kind anyway.

Scott Morrison, This Is How Things Turned Out For Trans Kids After Your 'Gender Whispers' Rant

He's dodged the word "transgender" again.

How does the Morrison Government plan to tackle mental health exactly when the the PM his throwing about terms like “gender whisperers”? That’s the life or death question trans activist Georgie Stone has raised, telling The Sydney Morning Herald that Scott Morrison’s comments about transgender issues were “really disappointing” and have fuelled the stigma surrounding trans people that puts them at greater risk of mental illness.

The activist says the PM’s attitude towards trans kids does not align with his focus on reducing youth suicide rates, a cause Morrison say’s his government is combatting by increasing funding to Headspace by $263.3 million over seven years.

“It’s ironic that his [Morrison’s] government are committed to eradicating mental illness and yet they perpetuate those same mindsets and ideals that are the reason that the statistics are so horrible,” Stone said.

She’s quite correct.

Stones says suicide attempts are five times higher for LGBTIQ+ people aged 16 to 27, and 11 times higher for trans people over 18.

Yet Morrison’s response to Stone’s comments on reducing suicide rates for trans people was vague. In fact, the Prime Minister failed to mention the word “transgender” once:

“The tragedy of youth suicide is all too common in Australia, particularly amongst younger Australians working through their identity and the pressures of identity politics.”

Scott Morrison
Everyone waiting for Morrison to use the word “transgender” like…

Since becoming PM in August 2018, Morrison has called the gender-neutral toilet sign at his office “not necessary” and made plans for its removal. He also got all judgy towards Cricket Australia for trying to do the right thing – they introduced guidelines for transgender people wanting to get involved in local games which the PM deemed “mystifying” and “heavy-handed.”

Last year Morrison even tweeted about a Daily Telegraph story which claimed school staff were being trained to spot transgender children in the classroom, supposedly contributing to more children wanting to change their sex.

The phrase ‘gender whisperers’ left a lot of Aussies feeling like the leader of Australia didn’t take transgender issues seriously.

“If they [people in power] actually want to do what they’re setting out to do, they need to look at themselves and their own attitudes and see what the message is that they are promoting and the effects that’s having.”

Georgie Stone

Stone sent an invitation to meet with Scott Morrison but it was met with no response, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I think he needs to meet some trans young people,” Stone said. “They’re the key to changing hearts and minds.”

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