Rosie O’Donnell graces the cover of “O” with Oprah

Oprah sure does love her gay gals. With the exception of First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah has only shared the cover of her magazine with lesbians — first with Ellen DeGeneres in December 2009, and now with Rosie O’Donnell in this month’s issue.

Rosie gave O, The Oprah Magazine a candid interview, in which she discussed coming out, and her very public marriage and divorce from Kelli Carpenter. She says the only people who didn’t know she was a lesbian during her wildly successful talk show run “were the audience.” And that splitting from Carpenter was both “humbling” and “humiliating,” as she is the first person in the O’Donnell family to ever get a divorce.

[We were so different.] She wanted to play tennis at the country club, and I don’t do country clubs. I tried. They made an exception for a gay family, and we joined. It was a big thing: “They let in a gay family – whoo!” So I show up to play with her, and somebody comes out and says, “You can’t play unless you have tennis whites.”

Oprah has, of course, championed Rosie in some big ways recently. Not only did she put her on the front of her magazine; she also coaxed her to The Oprah Winfrey Network. Rosie is a collaborator for the OWN Documentary Film Club. (She’s the one who introduced Becoming Chaz to Oprah’s audience.) And, most significantly, Rosie will return to her talk show roots with The Rosie O’Donnell Show, which will air on OWN beginning October 10.

Oprah told the magazine, “In 25 years of doing my show only one competitor ever seriously challenged me in the ratings: Rosie O’Donnell. From the day Rosie took her place among the crowded field of talk show hosts, I knew she had the ‘It’ thing.”

Er — no offense, Ellen.

Rosie says she’s reached a place of personal healing and peace that she didn’t have when she was famously sparring with Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View. She also says the move to Chicago for The Rosie O’Donnell Show is the first thing she’s been excited about in a really long time.

We’re excited too!

Rosie’s O cover hits stands on September 13, with her talk show rebooting less than a month later. Are you excited to see Rosie’s return to your TV?

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