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Ellen DeGeneres Thought She’d Never Come Out Publicly

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 8.24.52 AMIn 1997, Ellen DeGeneres became an unintentional activist when she announced she was gay.

The decision, Ellen admits in this new clip for Oprah’s Master Class series, was one she never thought she’d make.

“I certainly didn’t ever that I was going to come out,” she says. “Period. And I didn’t think I’d be coming out on a show, ever.”

The talk show host recalls attending a course at the Esalen Institute near Big Sur, California (and popularized in the final episode of Mad Men) called “Changing the Inner Dialogue.” After discovering that her fear was that no one would love her or allow her to be famous once they knew she was gay, DeGeneres realized that the shame she was feeling was making her pretend to be someone she wasn’t.

Watch the entire clip below:

H/t: LGBTQ Nation

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  • Grant Mealey

    We knew anyway ???

  • Cam

    Ellen should be ashamed of NOTHING (Except of course dating Anne Heche, but, heck, everybody is excused for one or two crazy exes.)

    But good for her for coming out and for being so successful today as an out and proud member of the LGBT community.

  • Xzamilio

    I was gonna read, but I can’t. This woman is a pioneer in the realest sense of the word, especially considering the fact that she came out when it was absolute poison to do so, and she gave everyone a face to the LGBT community that they could relate to… you have the Ellens, the Rupauls, the KD Langs, the Nathan Lanes, and the countless others who paved the way for these closeted actors to come out… or to live in glass closets for as long as they wish to…

    *cough Colton Haynes *cough* *cough* Kevin Spacey *cough*

    *cough* Archer *cough*

  • John Kuehnle

    Her coming out changed a lot of things, but there is a price to pay, not to get all negative…

  • AtticusBennett

    i was 14 when i saw Ellen’s Coming Out episode; my whole family sat down to watch it together. loved it. it was a watershed moment for me; seeing that when i was ready, my family would be there to support me.

  • Lvng1Tor

    Love this woman and what she has done for lgbt rights through advocacy, $$$ and visibility….but daaammnnn that’s a lot of bad airbrushing in the video.

  • henrietta25

    My Aunty Gianna just got a nearly new Infiniti G Sedan from only workin part time on a pc… see here now…

    ————->> w­w­w.S­n­a­g­a-J­o­b­s.T­k

  • Brian

    Ellen is looking after Ellen. She had an advantage over gay-identifying men because she’s a woman. I believe she received advantages over us guys because she’s a woman.

    I can’t imagine a gay-identifying man on the front page of TIME in the way she was. There definitely is still a lot of discrimination in the liberal media against male homosexuality as opposed to female homosexuality.

    Her show is known to boost the careers of those who are not gay-friendly.

  • AtticusBennett

    @Brian: we get it, you’re a closeted coward and a conservative and use many different screen names to blame everyone else for the fact that your balls never dropped. thanks for sharing.

  • GayEGO

    My lifetime partner of 53 years and I have been married 11 years in Massachusetts. I have always known I was gay and being raised in Idaho I had some tussles with other boys but we did not label it. Then came “The Fall of ’55” in Boise, Idaho when gays were persecuted and sent to prison. I went into the U.S. Navy which is where I learned about gay life and I came out while I was in the Navy as well as meeting my partner. I told my family I was gay when I was 50 years old in 1991, nothing changed. My partner and I are now both retired and living the American dream. All in all, Americans have and are learning that we live like everyone else and are not a threat to anyone. This is why Marriage Equality is the law of the land.

  • Cam

    @Brian: said….”I can’t imagine a gay-identifying man on the front page of TIME in the way she was. ”

    And the reason that might be hard for you to imagine is that no man in Hollywood even approaching her level of fame at the time came out. Rupert Everett was a foreign actor who was out, and he did some movies, and of course was on the cover of Vanity Fair, but far be it from me to interfere with the weird woman hating world you’ve built in your closet.

  • Spike

    Angry bitter lesbian . . . kinda like a hot water heater . . .

  • Giancarlo85

    @Brian: And again what is it with this “identifying” nonsense? “Identifying” has nothing to do with sexual orientation. You aren’t making any sense in your inane rantings about how much you hate Ellen either.

    Go ahead and mass report my post. I am stating the facts. We don’t have space for a MISOGYNIST gay basher like you on here. And yes, you are a homophobe. You constantly degrade and belittle us.

    Ellen’s career was nearly over after that announcement by the way. Since you were born after 1997, you wouldn’t know.

    @Spike: Angry bitter closet case.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Visibility is everything. Come out, come out and do not bash the ones that came out. Thanks, Ellen.

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