Ellen DeGeneres: The Most Powerful Gay American Celebrity

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Lesbian comedienne Ellen DeGeneres is named the most powerful gay celebrity in America. She has beaten names such as producer and writer Ryan Murphy and Neil Patrick Harris.

The TV presenter and Oscar host is now on the top of Out magazine’s annual Power List. She’s ahead of Apple CEO Tim Cook at two and U.S. newswoman Rachel Maddow, at three.

American Horror Story creator Murphy is placed sixth, and How I Met Your Mother star Harris was placed seventh.

Other celebrities on the list include Glee actress Jane Lynch at 20, X-Men director Bryan Singer at 28, and R&B star Frank Ocean at 42.

Juno star Ellen Page, made her debut on the list at 29, after she came out in February 2014.

In 1997, DeGeneres came out as a lesbian. This disclosure of her sexual orientation sparked interest by American tabloids. The media coverage stunted DeGeneres’ professional career and left her “mired in depression.”

That same year, she started a romantic relationship with actress Anne Heche but they broke up in 2000.

In her book Love, Ellen, DeGeneres’s mother, Betty DeGeneres describes being initially shocked when her daughter came out, but has become one of her strongest supporters. She is also an active member of Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project.

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