It looks like Ellen DeGeneres has a new buddy: George W. Bush. The pair were spotted together this Sunday taking in a Packers/Cowboys game (those are sports teams I guess, sounds fake) at the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas. The TV host and the former President were spotted sitting side-by-side, laughing together in a private box at the stadium.
It’s certainly interesting to see America’s most famous queer woman doing the 1% version of tailgating with the man who backed a constitutional ban on gay marriage. On Twitter, journalist Parker Molloy pointed out that DeGeneres and Bush were hanging out just two days before the Supreme Court (on which now sits Bush’s former staff secretary Brett Kavanaugh) is about to “hear a case about whether it will be legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in employment,” which ACLU lawyer (and Laverne Cox’s Emmy date) Chase Strangio called “one of the biggest days in LGBTQ legal history.” Strangio added that “our lives on the line.” Do you think DeGeneres and Bush talked about that?
DeGeneres has received plenty of flack from queer folks this year. In January, she helped rehabilitate Kevin Hart’s public image after his old homophobic tweets resurfaced, essentially pardoning him on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community — something Out’s Tre’vell Anderson said she didn’t have the right to do.
As one of America’s most visible (and powerful) queer celebrities, Ellen pal’ing around with those who have actively tried to harm us feels disappointing, irresponsible, and dangerous. This was more than just rubbing elbows, as there will certainly be moments where she’s in the same room as more than a few deplorables, but this was more than that.
Since his presidency ended, George W. Bush has been replaced by Donald Trump as the avatar of conservative evil, and also been humanized by his love of painting. But we can’t forget everything he did as the leader of this country to harm LGBTQ+ Americans...and neither should Ellen DeGeneres.