Oprah Celebrates Pride Month By Remembering Late Brother Who Died Of AIDS: ‘He’d Be So Amazed At How Much The World Has Changed’

Oprah Celebrates Pride Month By Remembering Late Brother Who Died Of AIDS: ‘He’d Be So Amazed At How Much The World Has Changed’

Media titan Oprah Winfrey is honoring her late brother this Pride month.

The 70-year-old shared a touching message about her sibling Jeffrey Lee recently, reflecting on his passing from AIDS and celebrating how things have vastly changed.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey opened up about Jeffrey Lee’s passing in a video uploaded to her Oprah Daily website yesterday (Tuesday, June 4th). She stated:

Can you believe it is June already? It’s not just June; it’s also Pride Month, and it was 35 years ago that my younger brother Jeffrey Lee died from AIDS.”


Every single person has the right to love who they want to love and be the person they most want to be. #ForYourPride #Oprah

? original sound – Oprah Daily

She continued:

“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.”

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey then surmised what life would’ve been like for her younger sibling if he could’ve experienced the world today. She added:

“I often think if he’d lived, he’d be so amazed at how much the world has changed—there actually is gay marriage, and a Pride Month. How different his life might’ve been had he lived in these times, in a world that saw and appreciated him for who he was rather than attempting to shame him for his sexuality.”

Winfrey also made it clear that she believes people should have the freedom to love whoever they want, and shared her hopes that her audience is “living a life that lives authentic to you.” This isn’t the first time the billionaire has acknowledged her brother. In March, Winfrey spoke about Jeffrey Lee while receiving the Vanguard Award at the 35th GLAAD Media Awards. The recognition was given for her support in “promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people and issues,” according to a statement made by GLAAD reps. During her speech, Winfrey stated about Jeffrey Lee:

“At the time, I didn’t know how deeply my brother internalized the shame he felt about being gay…I wish he could have lived to witness these liberated times and be here with me tonight.”

She added:

“All the years of the Oprah show for me were about sharing stories that actually helped people be more of their authentic selves and I know that 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. To have the truest expression of yourself as a human being.”


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Authored by: Kay Johnson