Ellen DeGeneres, Jason Collins and Elton John are the most known gay public figures in the United States, according to a new poll.
DeGeneres, a comedian and host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, topped the list as the most visible open gay public figure. She came out as a lesbian in 1997 and was seen on the cover of Time magazine.
According to a poll taken by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 1-5, with results released Thursday, 32 percent of adults cited DeGeneres’ name when asked, “What entertainment or public figures, if any, first come to mind who are gay or lesbian?” A total of 1,505 adults were interviewed in this poll. NBA player Jason Collins, who came out as gay in April on the cover of Sports Illustrated was named for 7 percent of people interviewed.
Musician Elton John came in third, with 6 percent of votes. Other celebrities were also mentioned, like comedian Rosie O'Donnell, former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and the late actor Rock Hudson, all with 3 percent of votes. The pianist Liberace and Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin received 2 percent of votes and actor Neil Patrick Harris received 1 percent of votes.
Just under half of respondents, about 38 percent, could not name any openly gay figures, according to the report.