Ellen DeGeneres on Coming Out as Gay: People Hated Me Overnight

AceShowbizEllen DeGeneres gets brutally honest about the fallout of her coming out as gay. Returning to the stand-up comedy circuit through “Relatable”, the host of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” recounted how her good intention behind her public admission of her sexual orientation backfired and sent her into depression.

During the Netflix special aired on Tuesday, December 18, the 60-year-old comedian kicked off the topic by reminding the audience that she is still gay. She later admitted that the people who made money off her had advised her to stay closeted, and when she decided otherwise, she recalled, “My worst fears came true.”

“That’s why people stay closeted. The same people who loved me overnight hated me because they knew I was gay,” the wife of actress Portia de Rossi explained. “I went through a depression and people made fun of me. People were writing articles about me, dissecting the whole process and why I did it. It was just really a tough thing.”

DeGeneres also confessed that she initially thought that her coming out would encourage others in Hollywood to do the same. However, the reality was unlike what she had expected. “I pictured, like, a stampede of wild elephants, like every closeted actor and actress in Hollywood,” she recalled. “But instead, they were like little meerkats coming out of their little meerkat closets.”

The scandal cost the stand-up comedian her sitcom “Ellen” and left her jobless for three years. While she finally got a talk show offer, she still had to deal with bigotry. “There was this one station manager, and this is a quote, ‘No one’s going to watch it, no one’s going to watch a lesbian during the day,’ ” she reminisced. “I said, ‘They weren’t watching me at night, what time of day is good for a lesbian?'”

Despite the hardship she faced after coming out, DeGeneres didn’t regret making the decision. On the reason why, she explained, “…it’s when I realized how strong I was.” And by the end of the show, she reminded the audience that “we are the same and all relatable.”

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