Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon delivered a introduction at the Golden Globe Awards where she thanked Ellen DeGeneres for her courage to come out on TV.
DeGeneres was there to receive the honorary Carol Burnett Award for
“outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen.”
DeGeneres’s character Ellen Morgan on Ellen became the first gay lead character on TV at the same time DeGeneres came out on the cover of Time magazine. McKinnon said,
“At the height of its popularity [DeGeneres’s sitcom] I was lifting weights in front of the mirror in my mother’s basement, thinking, Am I gay?
And I was. And I still am.
That’s a very scary thing to suddenly know about yourself. It’s sort of like doing 23andMe and discovering that you have alien DNA. And the only thing that made it less risky was seeing Ellen on TV.
She risked her entire life and her entire career in order to tell the truth and she suffered greatly for it.
Of course, attitudes change, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change. If I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would have thought, I could never be on TV. They don’t let LGBTQ people on TV.”
More than that, I would have gone on thinking that I was an alien and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here.
Thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot at a good life.”
And Ellen’s acceptance speech was moving –and hilarious.
(Photo, screen grab; via Advocate)