Ellen DeGeneres’ personal pitch-in

Ellen DeGeneres

Though the homophobes running the federal government took more time than a drag queen prepping her number to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, the gay community is kicking off its stilettos to assist those in need.

Ellen DeGeneres is one of our crowd’s big makers and shakers. The town where she grew up, Pass Christian, Mississippi, no longer exists thanks to Katrina’s diva attitude. The lesbian comic says she’s been “glued to the television and crying over the hurricane’s devastation.”

But she’s not just watching the coverage — she’s trying to change it. She’s turning her daytime talk show into a veritable telethon, asking viewers to donate to the American Red Cross. Her studio, Warner Brothers, will match contributions up to $500,000. And that’s on top of its $500,000 initial ante.

While it is the Monday, Sept. 5 installment of her show that will aim to raise funds, Ellen will also host a Katrina telethon on Friday, Sept. 9. It’s a lot more than you can say for Condoleezza Rice, though we hear the secretary of state looks absolutely stunning in her new Ferragamos.