Comedian Ellen DeGeneres, the host of
the daytime talker The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is by far the
most visible openly gay public figure in the United States.
According to a Pew
Research Center poll of 1,505 adults released Thursday, 32
percent of respondents cited DeGeneres when asked, “What
entertainment or public figures, if any, first come to mind who are
gay or lesbian?”
Jason Collins, the NBA free agent who
came out gay in April on the cover of Sports Illustrated, was
named by 7 percent.
The 55-year-old DeGeneres publicly came
out gay on the cover of TIME magazine in 1997.
Others named included singer Elton John
(6%), comedian Rosie O'Donnell (3%), former Massachusetts Congressman
Barney Frank (3%), CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (3%), the late actor
Rock Hudson (3%), the late pianist Liberace (2%), Puerto Rican singer
Ricky Martin (2%), and actor Neil Patrick Harris (1%).
Thirty-eight percent of respondents
could not name an openly gay public figure.