Ellen: ‘My Life is Fuller Since I Came Out of the Closet’

Ellen DeGeneres is speaking out about her decision to come out of the closet several years ago, and now she’s reaching out to those who find hope in her journey.

Ellen was honored with the Trevor Life Award in Los Angeles this week. The Trevor Project operates a teen suicide hotline for troubled gay youth.

“Grey’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight presented Ellen with the award, and he hailed her as an inspiration.

“It's so important to see someone like her and to see her courage,” said T.R., who famously came out of the closet following an on-set scuffle with Isaiah Washington.

“I'm proud of him,” Ellen said. “I mean, he was in a situation that was tough to walk that line and he did it with dignity.”

And Jodie Foster, a big supporter of the Trevor Project, told “Extra” the world could use more people like Ellen.

“I think Ellen DeGeneres has been such a great role model for so many people,” Jodie said.

But it wasn’t easy. After she came forward, Ellen faced some tough times in Hollywood.

“It was three years of no work, and three years is a long time for no work,” Ellen said.

Still, she bounced back with an even bigger hit: The Emmy-winning “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

Now Ellen is reaching out to those who find her an inspiration.

“You hang on and you get through it and you have you know another chance,” she said. “I have a much more rich, full life now than I ever would have had had I stayed in the closet.”