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Rosie O'Donnell reacts to fan thanking her for 'helping to pave the way' to come out

“I want to tell you how this magazine cover changed my life,” the TikTok user said about a 2002 People magazine story about O'Donnell.
/ Source: TODAY

It’s taken nearly two decades, but a TikTok user has finally gotten the chance to thank Rosie O’Donnell for giving them the courage to come out of the closet in a video that the comedian shared on her account.

“Hey, Rosie, I’m Katalyst,” the TikTok user began.

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“I want to tell you how this magazine cover changed my life,” Katalyst continued while showing an image of O’Donnell on the cover of a 2002 People magazine issue with the words “Rosie’s Brave Step.” The article followed the comedian’s revelation that she is gay.

During a 2002 performance at Caroline's Comedy Club in New York City, O'Donnell addressed her orientation, telling the audience that she is gay.

“In 2002, I was struggling on how to come out of the closet,” Katalyst continued.

“I wasn’t sure how to tell everybody until I saw this magazine on a rack at a grocery store. Everybody I knew loved you and respected you. I knew before everybody was willing to admit that you were family, just like me."

Katalyst went on to say that not only did the magazine serve as inspiration, it also served a practical purpose when it came to coming out.

"So, I bought multiple copies of this magazine and mailed it to the people I cared about and had to tell. In the magazine, I wrote a letter to those people I cared about explaining if Rosie could come out, so could I," Katalyst said.

"It’s been a rocky road since then. Not everybody agrees with my lifestyle and that’s OK. Fast-forward to the present. I see you on TikTok and I finally have the chance to say thank you for helping to pave the way for me to be me. Much love, Rosie.”

Fans were moved by the story.

"Beautiful," one person commented.

"I'm crying over this. This is heartwarming and wholesome," someone else wrote.

"I'm not crying, you're crying," another person wrote.