Ellen DeGeneres Looks Back On Her Coming Out Story & More From Her Storied Career

Ellen DeGeneres gets excited at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres has enjoyed a long and eventful career, for which she was awarded this year’s Golden Globe prize named after comedian Carol Burnett. The award — which is granted on an annual basis to an individual who has made outstanding television contributions on or offscreen — sure did enlist a worthy candidate for 2020.

Ellen’s acceptance speech was as down-to-earth and as honest as the person who won the award on Sunday.

“…the real power of television, for me, is not that people watch my show, but people watch my show and then they’re inspired to go out and do the same thing in their own lives. They make people laugh, be kind or help someone less fortunate than themselves.”

As part of the segment honoring Ellen, a video from her sometimes controversial but always entertaining career told the story in clip form. The comical personality included that revealing video on her Instagram platform on Tuesday, admitting in the caption that she had forgotten some aspects of the montage.

The package started out with a look at Ellen dancing among the crowd at the beginning of her chat show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, for which she has hosted for the past 17 years. She was also seen doing standup on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1986 and subsequent appearances of that type on national TV programs.

After that, moments from Ellen’s sitcom roles were featured, including the truly seminal bit in which she finally declared she is gay — a truth for the series’ character and for her real life. She was the first person in a primetime show to come out on national television, and she caused quite a stir while inspiring a lot of healthy conversation.

Among her 81.6 million Instagram followers, Ellen’s latest social media update earned more than 435,000 likes and 3,300-plus comments within three hours of going live in the platform.

Many felt the same as one Instagram follower who told Ellen how she affected his life in a huge way.

“Idk how you watched it without tearing up. I’ve been following you your whole career. You inspired me to live my life openly and honestly… I still remember yelling YES!!!!! at the TV when you said you were gay… and ‘yep, I’m gay’ in my closet because my grandma wouldn’t let me put your picture on my walls,” mused the avid admirer, who added a heart-eye emoji.