Oprah Winfrey Remembers Brother Jeffrey, an AIDS Victim, in Moving Pride Month Tribute
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In a video shared on Instagram, the TV mogul recalls her brother's struggles with internalized shame due to his sexuality during a moving tribute during Pride Month.

AceShowbiz - On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, Oprah Winfrey shared a heartwarming Pride month message on Instagram, reflecting on the life of her late brother, Jeffrey Lee. Jeffrey passed away at age 29 in 1989 due to complications from AIDS.

In a video clip, Winfrey expressed her belief that her brother would have been amazed by the progress made in LGBTQ rights since his time. "35 years ago, my younger brother, Jeffrey Lee, died from AIDS," she said. "He was 29-years-old. The year was 1989, and the world was an extremely cruel place, not just for people suffering from AIDS but also for LGBTQ people in general."

Winfrey recalled her brother's struggles with internalized shame due to his sexuality. "I wish he could have lived to witness these liberated times and to be here with me tonight," she said. She recognized that Jeffrey missed out on the joys of being fully seen and accepted for who he was.

On March 14, 2024, Winfrey had received the Vanguard Award at the 35th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. Established by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the award honors allies who have promoted LGBTQ acceptance.

During her GLAAD acceptance speech, Winfrey discussed her brother's influence on her work on "The Oprah Winfrey Show". "All the years of the Oprah Show, for me, were about sharing stories that helped people be their authentic selves," she said. "I know that is the truest form of what it means to be free, to have personal freedom, to be able to fully be who you are."

Winfrey has been a consistent advocate for LGBTQ inclusion and visibility. She featured Ellen DeGeneres on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1997 following DeGeneres' public coming out. She also interviewed Elliot Page in 2021 after Page's announcement as a trans man.

In her Pride month message, Winfrey stated, "I believe that every single person has the right to love who they want to love and be the person they most want to be." She encouraged her followers to live authentic lives with the support of others. "My hope for you is that you are living a life that feels authentic to you and that you have the support around you to do so, no matter your sexuality."

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