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Ellen DeGeneres: "I Didn't Ever Think I Was Going to Come Out"

Season 5 Episode 501
Aired on 10/25/2015 | CC tv-14
In the '90s, Ellen DeGeneres was the star of her own sitcom, Ellen, a film actress and a celebrated comedian. Then, in 1997, Ellen became an unintentional activist when she announced she was gay around the same time that her television character came out on the show. This decision, Ellen admits, was one she never thought she'd make. "I certainly didn't ever that I was going to come out. Period," she says. "And I didn't think I'd be coming out on a show, ever."

Looking back, Ellen credits a course she took at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, called Changing the Inner Dialogue of Your Subconscious Mind, with helping her live her truth. "I wanted to know what the inner dialogue of my subconscious mind was, and it was scary and crazy," she says. "What came out of listening to what I had been saying to myself is, 'Would I still be famous? Would they still love me if they knew I was gay?' And my fear was, 'No, they wouldn't.'"

Ellen says she began to feel ashamed that she was hiding something and being dishonest about who she really was. "I just didn't want to pretend to be somebody else anymore so that people would like me," she says.

In the above video, watch as Ellen shares more about her life-changing decision. Plus, find out why she cried every time she said "I'm gay" out loud.

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