I know all about the rite of passage thing. Sadly, most gays of that era -- and even some today -- have to overdo it. Elton John had dancing fruit frolicking about the stage -- so subtile. Ellen goes to an awards dinner and makes out with her girlfriend (who I think was using her as a stepping stone, too), to shove her sexuality up everyone's nose. Heterosexuals who act like she did were considered trashy at the time. She defined herself by her sexuality. I just noticed.
No, Imus had no problem with PDAs. He just realized that it wasn't about affection so much as it was about proving something. His thesis was that if homosexuality was just another sexual orientation, why behave as no self-respecting heterosexual would and spend every spare moment swapping spit? One of my favorites on Twitter is GayPatriot, who's just a guy who happens to be gay. The fact that he is gay is sort of a running joke. Part of the joke is that the Dems want him to think like their idea of a gay guy, and he thinks for himself. That, and the fact that he's very sweet.
Elaine Boosler once noted that a joke isn't funnier just because you scream it. She didn't have a gimmick, and consequently she's one of those people we wonder what happened to. Wasn't Elaine Boosler the one who, referring to a man's...um..."member," said that women really wanted to say, "Stop annoying me with that thing." I think it was Boosler. If not Boosler, another of the second string of comics.
Ellen's not that good of an interviewer, either. I've watched clips where she's had favorites of mine on, and she just doesn't do it for me, any more than Margaret Cho -- who incidentally had a priceless joke on bigotry. In a play on what they always say about the weather, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity," she said, "Bigotry: It's not the hate, it's the stupidity." Like telling women who are Americans that they should "Go back where they came from."