Image: Saturday Night Live/ YouTube

How Betty White made a big impact in the LGBTQ+ community


Needless to say, the world was devastated to learn of the recent passing of legendary actress Betty White. The comedy legend died peacefully at her Brentwood home on Dec. 31, 2021, just 17 days shy of her 100th birthday.

White’s career in entertainment spanned across several decades. From her time on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and as Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls,” White was able to reach a variety of audiences, young and old. 

However, White extended her efforts beyond the silver screen as she was also known for defending civil and LGBTQ+ rights.

Most notably, in 1954, she voiced her stance against racism after receiving complaints and threats of cancellation about having a Black tap dancer Arthur Duncan on her variety show, The Betty White Show. Nevertheless, White continued to spotlight Duncan and he credits her with catapulting his career. 

She promoted LGBTQ+ rights over the years by starring alongside queer characters in her shows. Even helping to educate and end the stigma around HIV and AIDS with an entire Golden Girls episode.


In an interview with Larry King, she was askled about her thoughts on the LGBTQ+ community. And her response was ‘quintessential Betty.’

“Oh, I don’t care who you sleep with, whom you sleep with, it’s what kind of a human being are you,” she said.

Betty went on to explain that she can’t understand those who are against advances in LGBT+ rights, adding that it’s “such a personal, private business, and none of mine.”

Betty White discussed her ties to the gay community and why she supports marriage equality in a 2010 with Parade. “I don’t care who anybody sleeps with. If a couple has been together all that time and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones.” 

“I think it’s fine if they want to get married. I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much,” she continued. 

Today, Google is honoring White on what would have been her 100th birthday with a heartwarming surprise when users search her name. 

The search results in cascading rose petals and a lovely message: “Thank you for being a friend,” along with White’s birth year and the year she passed. No doubt, the The flower petals are a tribute to White’s time playing Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” 

Though she is gone, her quick-witted humor, spunky personality and beautiful spirit will be remembered throughout the ages and will continue to inspire others to live just as White did – unapologetically. 


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