By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 27, 2002 01:00 PM

While being outspoken and trading in blue humor is nothing new in Rosie O’Donnell’s off-TV repertoire, the entertainer — who is reputedly set to out herself in her memoir to be published in April — proclaimed, “I’m a dyke!” at an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit, reports USA Today. At Carolines Comedy Club in Times Square on Monday, the entertainer, once dubbed the “Queen of Nice” on the cover of Newsweek, kicked off her routine by saying, “I’m sick of being (expletive) nice.” Then, borrowing a line from Bette Davis in the movie “All About Eve,” she said, “Fasten your seat belts — here we go.” Her first target: Barbara Walters’s interview last September with Anne Heche, the ex-lover of Ellen DeGeneres. Heche is now married to cameraman Coley Laffoon and pregnant with his child. “What the hell kind of train wreck was that?” chided Rosie, who then mimicked Walters’s speech impediment. Reminding the crowd that Heche told Walters that she was possessed, O’Donnell, 39, said, according to USA Today: “She couldn’t just say, ‘I was a lesbian for two years, it didn’t work out for me’?” Continuing along that line, she added, “I don’t know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing . . . People are confused, they’re shocked, like this is a big revelation to somebody.” Admitting that gay activists have complained that she waited until late in the game to come out (her book, “Find Me,” coincides with her departure from her talk show), O’Donnell — herself an opponent of anti-gay adoption laws — quoted her critics as follows: “‘Oh, but you were lying,’ the gay Nazis say. ‘You said you liked Tom Cruise.'” Her response to that: “I said I wanted him to mow my lawn and bring me a lemonade. I never said I wanted (to have sex with him).”