Ellen DeGeneres chatted with the Daily Mail about the aftermath of her groundbreaking coming out in 1997.
At first, DeGeneres feared what others would think and whether being open in the public sphere would affect her work. "I was a very insecure person and depended on validation from people who watched my show or my stand-up--validation I felt I'd lose if everybody knew who I really was."
Though DeGeneres wouldn't have it any other way now, her coming out did have consequences. "Afterwards, there were jokes at my expense and I couldn't turn on the TV at night without some comedian or talk show host making fun of me. Not for a minute did I regret doing what I did, but it was hard."
DeGeneres paved the way for generations of future LGBTQ celebrities to come out publicly, an admission which can sadly still affect one's professional life. "There was a whole lot of anger and depression," DeGeneres notes, but "[I] couldn't be in a better place."