Ellen DeGeneres is famous and beloved, an icon of the LGBT community and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. As a result, it’s hard to think that there was a period during which she was a pariah. But when she first came out as gay in 1997, the world of American entertainment was a very different place. Many comments were made about her at the time – and one in particular hurt terribly.
Ellen’s career and her mental health were both adversely affected by that public statement about her sexuality. Tabloids became obsessed with details of her personal life, in fact. And ABC even issued a warning to parents before her show, which would only last for one more season following the announcement. It was an incredibly distressing period for Ellen – and one of the worst things for her was the reaction of other gay people.
Ellen is happy in her life now, of course. She’s married to Portia di Rossi, and her show is a massive success. Those who watch Ellen on TV will know her motto is: “Be kind to one another.” It’s a little ironic, though, considering there was a time when people weren’t kind to her at all. And the one remark she appears to remember the most came from another gay icon, Elton John.