In an episode of her daytime talk show that aired Monday (29 October), Ellen DeGeneres publicly thanked Madonna for her support back in 1997 when she made the decision to come out as a lesbian.
Starring in her own ABC sitcom at the time, the disclosure was such big news that it made the cover of Time magazine with the now-famous headline, 'Yep, I'm Gay.'
'It was all over the place and a big, huge topic - people were against it, people were for it,' DeGeneres recalled. 'I had never had that much media attention. It was really scary.'
'Madonna called me out of the blue - we had never met,' she added. 'I just all of a sudden get a call saying, 'It's Madonna and I just want to say I'm behind you, I'm with you,, I support you.'
DeGeneres told the audience that Madonna also said some 'really amazing things' of a more personal nature but also talked to her 'about holding on to this ride.'
'One thing (she) said to me was, 'Things come to you when you let go and you don't care and need the validation anymore.' When you're closeted, you really need people to love you and you're so scared if you come out, no one will love you anymore.'
'It was hard at the time to hear that because I thought, 'Well, I want people to love me!'