Kate McKinnon thanks Ellen DeGeneres for making it 'less scary' to come out

Los Angeles, Jan 6 (PTI) As actor Kate McKinnon presented celebrated TV host Ellen DeGeneres with the Carol Burnett Award at the 77th Golden Globes, she thanked her for making it easy for people in the entertainment industry to open up about their sexuality.

In an emotional tribute McKinnon said the moment when DeGeneres famously came out as gay on her sitcom in 1997 had a profound impact on her as a teenager.

'In 1997 when Ellen's sitcom was at the height of its popularity I was in my mother’s basement lifting weights in front of the mirror and thinking, 'Am I gay?' And I was. And I still am. And the only thing that made it less scary 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. And if I hadn't seen her on TV, I would've thought, ‘I can never be on TV, they don’t let LGBTQ people on TV,’ and more than that, I would’ve gone on thinking that I was an alien and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here, so thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot,' McKinnon said.

Carol Burnett Award is given to someone who has made outstanding contributions to the television medium.

The Golden Globes ceremony, hosted by Ricky Gervais, took place at the Beverly Hitlon at Beverly Hills here. PTI SHD SHD