Ellen DeGeneres decided to come out of the closet in 1997. She was at the top of her game at the time, starring in her popular “The Ellen Show.”
Why did she take the risk? Because she felt it was important -and healthier – than living in fear or denial of who she really was. The “secret” made her feel as if she was wrong and she knew she was right.
So she came out as the real Ellen and then had her character come out on the show.
She lost her show. No one would call her. She got no gigs.
For three years, she was stripped of all the external factors of identity: no career or the benefits that come with it. Not only that, some of her previous fans berated her and judged her. Christian groups picketed her studio and mentioned God while acting very un-Christian. Studios wouldn’t touch her.
You realize who you really are when you don’t have anything. – Ellen
And then “Finding Dory” came along. Ellen also got her own new talk show. She’s immensely popular all over again. Only now, she has no secrets.
Does she regret coming out?
NOT AT ALL.
“It’s the best -because I’m free.
I’m completely able to be exactly who I am.”*