Ellen DeGeneres’ good-natured brand of comedy has made her a fixture of daytime television.
The “Ellen DeGeneres Show” host and “Finding Dory” star has been named Out magazine’s entertainer of the year and is one of the cover stars of the publication’s 2016 OUT100 issue, in which she candidly discusses how hearing jokes at her expense when she came out as gay in 1998 affected her approach to comedy.
“I was the punch line of lots of jokes,” the 58-year-old comedian shares. “I laughed at some, but I realized there’s somebody on the other side of them. It’s cruel. I’ve never liked mean comedy, but that became even more important to me after I was the brunt of it.”
DeGeneres hopes that her story can serve as inspiration to others who may be struggling in their own life.
“If this isn’t an example of ‘It gets better,’ I don’t know what is,” she says. “Time is a strange thing. I was at rock bottom and out of money with no work in sight, but one step at a time, it gets better. It gets much better than better.”
Meanwhile, one thing that DeGeneres has been outspoken about is her criticism of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The TV personality explains to the magazine that his campaign has caused her to be more vocal about her political views than she has in elections past.
“Even my agent said, ‘I’ve never seen you be so partisan,’” she says. “I’m not really a political person, but when somebody’s acting like an entitled, lying brat and you know he’s hurt a lot of people, it’s easy to see what kind of human being he is.”
The 2016 OUT100 issue -- which also features Tracey Norman, Tom Ford and Javier Muñoz as cover stars -- is on stands Nov. 29.