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Oprah Winfrey Reveals Her Brother Jeffrey Died of AIDS in the 1980s as She Shares Moving Pride Month Post: 'The World Was an Extremely Cruel Place'

oprah
Source: MEGA

He alleged Oprah was "unsympathetic" when he told her the news.

Jun. 5 2024, Published 9:33 a.m. ET

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Oprah Winfrey has paid tribute to her late half-brother, who died of AIDS in 1989, in a moving post celebrating Pride Month on social media, RadarOnline.com has learned.

"It was 35 years ago that my younger brother, Jeffrey Lee, died from AIDS," Oprah, wearing a white sweater with a rainbow proudly emblazoned across it, began in a video shared on her Oprah Daily Instagram account.

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"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," she continued.

"I often think if he'd lived, he'd be so amazed at how much the world has changed, that there actually is gay marriage and a Pride Month. How different his life might have 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."

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oprah
Source: MEGA

"Whether or not you're celebrating Pride this month or always, I wish for you the continued freedom to rise to your truest, highest expression of yourself as a human being," Oprah said.

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"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," Oprah said. "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."

"Whether or not you're celebrating Pride this month or always, I wish for you the continued freedom to rise to your truest, highest expression of yourself as a human being," she concluded.

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Oprah previously honored her late sibling while accepting the Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Awards in March. "Growing up at the time we did, in the community we did, we didn’t have the language to understand or speak about sexuality and gender in the way we do now," she said in her acceptance speech.

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

"All the years of The Oprah Show, for me, were about sharing stories that helped people be their authentic selves… and 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," she added.

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