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.