Top Stories

Ellen DeGeneres Looks Back at Coming Out, 20 Years Later: 'I Had No Idea the Amount of Hate'

Ellen DeGeneres Looks Back at Coming Out, 20 Years Later: 'I Had No Idea the Amount of Hate'

Ellen DeGeneres came out nearly twenty years ago – you may remember her famous television show, Ellen, where her character also came out on April 30, 1997.

Now, she’s looking back at that time and reflecting now that two decades have passed by.

“I was doing just fine. The show was a success, my career was a success and there was no real reason for me to do it other than I did some work on myself, some deep soul-searching, and realized I was really carrying around a lot of shame. … No matter how many times I tried to rationalize that I didn’t need anyone to know, I knew that it was a secret. And I knew that there was a possibility that people would hate me for the simple fact that no matter how much they loved my comedy or my show, but they might hate me if they knew I was gay,” the 59-year-old talk show host told the AP of her decision to come out.

“It became more important to me than my career. I suddenly said, ‘Why am I being, you know, ashamed of who I am just to be successful and famous in society’s eyes?’ … And then I thought, the character on the show is clearly struggling. There’s no relationship. It was pretty clear it would be an easy transition for her to realize she was gay, which was why her relationships with men weren’t working out,” Ellen continued.

Click inside to read about how Ellen felt after coming out…

“I knew I was risking hurting my career. … But to know that Laura Dern was punished for it just because she played my love interest in that show is crazy. I mean, she’s a brilliant actress, she’s heterosexual and yet she was punished. And Oprah (Winfrey) got hate mail just for being a part of it. Obviously, that’s why a lot of people don’t come out, because there’s a very loud and clear message … that a lot of people don’t understand it (being gay), and because they don’t understand it they fear, and because they fear it they hate it. But I had no idea the amount of hate. I had no idea that there would be death threats or a bomb scare. It was a really scary time.”

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: Getty
Posted to: Ellen DeGeneres

JJ Links Around The Web

WENN
  • Find out who pushed Aaron Carter to go to rehab - TMZ
  • There's a Pretty Little Liars spinoff in the works - Just Jared Jr
  • Lucy Hale is fighting back against trolls commenting on her appearance - TooFab
  • The It sequel will be released next year - The Hollywood Reporter
  • Get the details on the Teen Wolf finale - Just Jared Jr
  • Samanthadbennett

    I’ve made $84,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. The potential with this is endless. Here’s what I do
    !wr14c:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs14SupportBest/GetPaid$97/Hour… ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫:::!wr14u:…..