Politics Michelle Obama Congratulates Ellen on 20th Anniversary of Coming Out: 'You Have Shown Us What Love Really Means' Former First Lady Michelle Obama surprised friend Ellen DeGeneres with an emotional video tribute By Tierney McAfee Published on April 28, 2017 12:08 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Ellen DeGeneres is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her sitcom’s coming-out episode with a little help from friends like Oprah Winfrey, Laura Dern and Michelle Obama. Winfrey and Dern — both of whom guest starred in the iconic 1997 episode in which DeGeneres’ character came out as gay — stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week to reflect on the moment. Though Obama couldn’t be there to mark the milestone with DeGeneres in person, the former first lady surprised her friend with an emotional video tribute that aired on her Friday show. “I wish I could be there in person but Barack keeps booking us on all these vacations. In fact, I think we’ve got a kite-surfing lesson in about five minutes,” Obama joked, in a nod to the series of getaways the former president and first lady have taken since leaving office in January (including one with Winfrey!). Michael Rozman/Warner Bros. “Seriously, Ellen, congratulations on the 20th anniversary of announcing to the world who you really are,” she continued. “Time and again you have shown us what love really means. You are brave, you are kind — you are a terrible person to go shopping with,” Obama joked in reference to her and DeGeneres’ trip to CVS last year. “And I absolutely adore you. Congratulations again. Love you much.” The former first lady also showed DeGeneres some love on Twitter, sharing a throwback photo of the two doing push-ups during one of Obama’s appearances on the show. “I may have schooled you in pushups, but when it comes to courage and kindness, you are always a champ,” Obama wrote, adding the hashtag #ThankYouEllen.