Kate McKinnon Thanks Ellen DeGeneres for Making Coming Out 'Less Scary' (VIDEO)

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Paul Drinkwater/NBC (2)

Ellen DeGeneres has not only made people laugh over the years, but she has also touched the lives of many. And Kate McKinnon made it clear just how much DeGeneres helped her when she presented her with the Carol Burnett Award for her contributions to television on and off the screen at the 2020 Golden Globes.

"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," McKinnon shared. "But 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."

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But it was DeGeneres who helped her. "The only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV," McKinnon continued. "She risked her entire life and her career in order to tell the truth, and she suffered greatly for it." DeGeneres memorably came out on her sitcom, and McKinnon credited her as one of the "brave people" who has helped "attitudes change."

"And 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,'" McKinnon concluded. "And more than that, I would have gone on thinking that I was an alien and that maybe I didn't even have a right to be here. So, thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot at a good life."

(Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Watch McKinnon's tribute below.