When Ellen DeGeneres came out as gay back in the 1990s, she inspired and gave hope to many people in the LGBTQ community, but her very public coming out almost ruined her career. At the time, she was the first major prime-time TV personality openly gay.
Now, the star revealed that after a nightmare gig, she almost quit her career.
Back in 1997, Ellen was featured on the cover of Time magazine and also had her famous interview with Oprah Winfrey when she talked about her sexuality.
20 years later, DeGeneres gave another important interview to the same magazine reflecting on her coming out two decades ago and also revealing that she struggled with a lot of homophobia from fellow performers that nearly ruined her career as a comedian.
‘There was a night in particular that there were two guys on before me and their stuff was very homophobic – slamming women in every kind of way. And no one knew that I was gay necessarily, it was just a very angry testosterone-filled crowd by the time I got on stage,’ Ellen recalled, adding that as soon as she went on stage, riled up from the previous performances, the entire front row of men turned their chairs around, and faced the other audience members instead of looking at her during her number.
It was so upsetting that DeGeneres thought she would never do stand up ever again.
As soon as she came out, things became even more complicated.
Not only was her sitcom axed but various religious groups started protesting outside ABC stations, asking for her to be taken off the air completely.
Fortunately, Ellen DeGeneres was able to get through it, and now she is one of the most known and respected people in the world.