Ellen Degeneres's Coming Out Story

30 April, 2017, 01:58 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Michael Rozman  Warner Bros

"I am the same person and I have the same sense of humor and the same thoughts, and I'm not going to turn my show into a gay show just because everybody knows I'm gay now, " DeGeneres said.

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres on Friday commented the 20-year anniversary of her coming out, an historical TV moment that came to define her career and shape the conversation surrounding gay rights. The show was titled, "The Puppy Episode" and she revealed why they went with that name.

"It became more important to me than my career", she said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. In fact, it helped put her on a different path and ushered in a new era of LGBT characters on the small screen. While I'd engaged in a couple of sapphic encounters prior to meeting her, at just 18, I eschewed, even recoiled from labeling whatever it was we were. And the scripts were written on red paper so you couldn't see the black ink. "It was like we were spies or something".

When DeGeneres' character first came out on her sitcom in 1997, and DeGeneres came out herself at the same time, she was the first leading TV character to do so. "For those words to come out of my mouth for the very first time - even rehearsing it I would burst into tears every single time".

"We started with me being a heterosexual woman and then she finds out she's gay, which is a kind of risk when people fall in love with a character and they like the character and all of a sudden you say, 'By the way, I'm this, '" DeGeneres told ET later that year.

Ellen DeGeneres has opened up about how she had a breakdown on set whilst filming an iconic episode of her sitcom in which she came out. I felt attacked. It was everything that you just fear in life, like nobody loving you.

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"Nobody really understood how dark it got for me". After a brief bit of scrambling, she finally blurts out, "Susan, I'm gay".

Watch the moment DeGeneres comes out on her sitcom below. The episode continues with Morgan coming out to her friends and working through the magnitude of the event with her therapist (Winfrey).

The episode would go on to win an Emmy and a Peabody, but ultimately sponsors fled, and "Ellen" was canceled after its fifth season.

"At the time, it was so controversial", she recalled in the clip. "It was so profound, and I feel so blessed that I got to be there and witness that", Dern said.

But, in the years between the coming-out episode of Ellen and DeGeneres' return to the spotlight as a beloved and massively successful daytime talk-show host, the landscape changed dramatically for LGBTQ people in media - and much of that change was likely thanks to DeGeneres.

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