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Ellen DeGeneres Recalls Her ‘Rock Bottom’ After Coming Out

Ellen DeGeneres made history when she came out publicly 1997 on the cover of Time magazine, but in doing so she found her career suffered.

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Her hit her ABC sitcom was cancelled a year later, and her movie career also stalled after starring in the dismally-reviewed (and prophetically-titled) romantic comedy Mr. Wrong, which bombed at the box office in 1996.

Talking to the annual Out 100 issue, she recalls

I was the punch line of lots of jokes. I laughed at some, but I realized there’s somebody on the other side of them. It’s cruel. I’ve never liked mean comedy, but that became even more important to me after I was the brunt of it.”

But luckily for us, the 28-time Emmy winner went on to land her own daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which boosted her self-esteem.

Before this show, I had a lot of insecurity. I wasn’t sure if I was going to work again, and although I was out, I was still trying to alter myself — not dressing the way I wanted to dress or wearing my hair the way I wanted to. I slowly gained the confidence to be authentic, and what I’ve learned about other people is that they strive to be authentic, too.

So whether they fully support me, love my lifestyle, or love that I’m married to a woman, I think they like that authenticity, and they’re drawn to it.” At the time, the media response reaffirmed DeGeneres’s comedic philosophy.

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DeGeneres continued:

And what I’ve learned about other people is that they strive to be authentic, too. So whether they fully support me, love my lifestyle, or love that I’m married to a woman, I think they like that authenticity, and they’re drawn to it.”

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