Comedian Kate McKinnon makes touching Golden Globes speech about sexuality

Francesca SpecterYahoo Style UK deputy editor

Kate McKinnon has made an emotional speech about her sexuality during a Golden Globes 2020 appearance.

The Saturday Night Live star, 36, was presenting the Carol Burnett award for lifetime achievement to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

McKinnon described the realisation that she was gay as “a very scary thing to suddenly know about yourself”, and thanked DeGeneres for paving the way for LGBT+ individuals in the public eye.

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“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 thinking, ‘Am I gay?’” the comedian said.

READ MORE: Hallmark apologises for removing adverts featuring lesbian couple kissing

Kate McKinnon at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards. [Getty]
Kate McKinnon at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards. [Getty]

“And I was. And I still am.

“But that’s a very scary thing to suddenly know about yourself. It’s sort of like doing 23andMe and discovering you have alien DNA. And the only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV.”

The Ghostbusters star said DeGeneres “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 have thought: ‘I could never be on TV. They don't let LGBT people on TV.’”

Kate McKinnon onstage at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards. [Getty]
Kate McKinnon onstage at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards. [Getty]
Ellen DeGeneres accepts the Carol Burnett Award from Kate McKinnon. [Getty]
Ellen DeGeneres accepts the Carol Burnett Award from Kate McKinnon. [Getty]

DeGeneres, who revealed she identifies as lesbian in 1997, has spoken about experiencing homophobia in the past at high school.

The year after she came out, her ABC sitcom Ellen was cancelled – although Bob Iger, then CEO of The Walt Disney Company (ABC’s parent company), claimed it was not due to her “gayness”.

READ MORE: A quarter of British parents 'would not feel proud' to have an LGBT+ child

McKinnon’s speech has been praised by Twitter users, who called it “touching” and “beautiful”.

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