Ellen DeGeneres came out 20 years ago today!
When Ellen DeGeneres decided to come out publicly, she did it in a big way.
It was 20 years ago today that the popular talk show host appeared on the cover of Time Magazine with the headline: ‘Yep, I’m Gay.’
Adding to the publicity was that the announcement coincided with her television character of Ellen Morgan coming out on her ABC sitcom Ellen.
DeGeneres told the magazine then: ‘I mean I knew that I was going to—that was one of the things when I decided to have my character on the show come out, I knew I was going to have to come out too. But I didn’t want to talk about it until the show was done.’
Flash-forward 20 years and DeGeneres is a beloved talk show host and married to actress Portia de Rossi.
Last year she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama who remarked on her courageous coming out.
But in 1997, DeGeneres didn’t seem keen on becoming a role model.
‘I watched my friend Melissa [Etheridge] come out, and she became “the lesbian rock star.” I never wanted to be “the lesbian actress.” I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth.’