Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

Ellen DeGeneres gets candid about being bullied after coming out

the comedian had to see a therapist, start anti-depressants

Published

on

(Screenshot via YouTube.)

Ellen DeGeneres has become an LGBT icon but the talk show host faced bullying and depression before she became the positive, popular figure she is today.

DeGeneres, 59, revealed in an interview with Good Housekeeping that after coming out in 1997 she was faced with an onslaught of bullying that sent her into a depression.

“The bullying I endured after I came out made up for the lack of it during my childhood,” DeGeneres says. “I moved out of L.A., went into a severe depression, started seeing a therapist and had to go on antidepressants for the first time in my life. It was scary and lonely. All I’d known for 30 years was work, and all of a sudden I had nothing. Plus, I was mad. It didn’t feel fair — I was the same person everyone had always known.”

She continued that she has made peace with her sitcom “Ellen” being treated differently than other shows for featuring her coming out episode.

“I understand it. I wish it was different. Show business is a business, and what I did was controversial at the time. There were sitcoms before and after mine showing people making out and having sex, and yet my show suddenly got an ‘Adult Content’ warning. Nobody told me that was going to happen. I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw it. It was so insulting! Now, though, when I see those people at functions, there’s definitely an unspoken ‘I made a mistake’ on their part and also an unspoken ‘I accept your apology’ on mine,” DeGeneres says.

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Books

New book explores ‘Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling’

The benefits of coming out at work

Published

on

(Book cover image courtesy of Bloomsbury)

‘Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling’
By Layla McCay
c.2024, Bloomsbury
$24/240 pages

You can see the CEO’s office from the outside of your workplace.

You’ve actually been in that office, so you know what it looks like inside, too. Big, expansive desk. Cushy, expensive chair. Ankle-deep carpet. The CEO got there through regular means over the course of his career – something you’d like to do, too. But as you know, and as in the new book, “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling” by Layla McCay, you’ll have to take a different path.

Of all the thousands of board seats and C-suite occupiers in American businesses, only a very tiny number – less than one percent – are occupied by people who identify as LGBTQ. In London, says McCay, no one on the Financial Times Stock Exchange identifies as such. Just six of the world’s leaders, past or current, have come out as LGBTQ.

The reasons for this are many, from discomfort to a sense of a lack of safety or just plain mistrust. Employees often don’t talk about it and employers can’t or don’t ask, which can lead to a lot of issues that cis, heterosexual employees don’t have to think about.

LGBTQ employees make less money than their straight co-workers. They experience discrimination ranging from sexual violence on one end, to micro aggressions on the other. Discrimination can be found in educational settings, and networking events, in a lack of mentorship, and the feeling that one needs to “code-switch.” Even an overseas job offer can be complicated by identifying as LGBTQ.

And yet, says McCoy, there are benefits to coming out, including a sense of authenticity, and feeling as if a load has been removed from one’s shoulders.

If you are an employer, McCoy says, there are things you can do to help. Include LGBTQ people in your diversity programs at work. Insist on it for recruitment. Make sure your employees feel safe to be themselves. Make all policies inclusive, all the time, from the start. Doing so benefits your business. It helps your employees.

“It’s good for society.”

Pretty common sense stuff, no? Yeah, it is; most of what you’ll read inside “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling” is, in fact, very commonsensical. Moreover, if you’re gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or queer, you won’t find one new or radical thing in this book.

And yet, inside all the nothing-new, readers will generally find things they’ll appreciate. The statistics, for instance, that author Layla McCay offers would be helpful to cite when asking for a raise. It’s beneficial, for instance, to be reminded why you may want to come out at work or not. The advice on being and finding a mentor is gold. These things are presented through interviews from business leaders around the world, and readers will find comfort and wisdom in that. You’ll just have to wade through a lot of things you already know to get it, that’s all.

Is it worth it? That depends on your situation. You may find nothing in “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling,” or it may help you raise the roof.

Continue Reading

Out & About

Under Armour hosts LGBTQ obstacle course

‘Unmatched Pride’ event held in Baltimore

Published

on

Unmatched Athlete in partnership with Under Armour Unified will host the inaugural “Unmatched Pride event for LGBTQ+ and allied youths” on Saturday, July 20 at 11 a.m. at the Stadium at 2601 Port Covington Dr. in Baltimore Peninsula.

Teens 13-17 and kids 8-12 will have the ability to compete in obstacle course activity and skills challenges. The obstacle course will consist of a variety of fun stations that will test participants in strength, agility, and cardio. Flag football skill challenges and more will be offered.

For those who are interested, there will be an opportunity for youths to compete with and/or against their parents as well at 1:30 p.m. Registration is available on Eventbrite

Continue Reading

Out & About

Blade’s Peter Rosenstein holds book talk in Rehoboth

‘Born This Gay’ memoir explored

Published

on

Longtime Washington Blade contributor Peter Rosenstein will hold an author talk on Thursday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m. at CAMP Rehoboth (37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.) in conversation with fellow author Fay Jacobs. The pair will discuss Rosenstein’s new memoir, “Born This Gay: My Life of Activism, Politics, Travel, and Coming Out.” Register at camprehoboth.org.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular