Ellen On Coming Out In 1997: "I Felt Isolated And Rejected"
On the heels of Rosie O'Donnell's reflection on coming out in the '90s, Ellen speaks with People Magazine about how her groundbreaking experience 17 years ago feels in hindsight.
“I thought everyone knew me and I didn’t think that one little adjective was going to define me,” Ellen said. “I didn’t have perspective for awhile. ... I didn't think it was going to be that much of a surprise. What hurt was this: Does that label, that word, change my talent, my kindness, my heart, my intention for entertaining people? The bottom line is as simple as this, my feelings were hurt. I just gave up and moved to Ojai (in California) and sat in my house as long as I could until I ran out of money. Then I started over again.''
Ellen adds that there is so much distance between the landmark pop-cultural moment and today that she sometimes feels like it happened to a different person.
"Looking back, I did feel isolated, I did feel rejected, but now I look at it as a movie that I saw that someone went through. I only experience the amazing life that I have right now.''
That quote lead into a nice segue showcasing Ellen's intense love for wife Portia Di Rossi, rumors of divorce be damned.
“The truth is, and this is corny, I fall more in love with Portia all the time. I really do,” Ellen said. “She surprises me all the time. It’s what anyone experiences when you find that person that gets you, wants to take care of you, wants the best for you. We’re really lucky because we know how rare it is.”
Ellen hosts the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2. Her new interview featured on the cover of People is on newsstands now.