Ellen DeGeneres Comes Out
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Conversations the PODCAST. I believe that one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now in one thousand nine hundred seven. The worst hate mail I ever received came after doing the Ellen Degeneres Show Ellen came out and I was her therapist on that monumental coming out show and that in a moment but the truth is for me. I know this that if you in any way are keeping a secret or if you in any way are pretending to be something that you are not you will never ever become all that you were meant to be. It just cannot happen if you're living in some kind of pretense phony world. I think many people hide behind the facade of their own lives in various ways. I can say for myself that being able to be myself in front of all of you has been one of the great gifts of my life to be able to be truthful to say whatever was going on in my life. I wasn't always that way. I shared a story of starting out in television news and pretending to be Barbara. Walters was not until I was able to literally break free of pretending to be an anchorwoman and pretending to be like Barbara Walters that my career started to take off. So I know that as long as you are trying to carry on the facade and for me it was something as superficial as trying to sit like Barbara and cross my legs like Barbara and lean into the desk like Barbara superficial but still prohibiting me from being and a being able to exercise the fullness of myself I know for anybody if in any way you are pretending something that is not true for your life you will not be able to move forward because that untruth that uncertainty about standing in your truth blocks you from all that you were meant to be Ellen. Being able to literally say to the world that she is a lesbian and to be able to do that. Back in. Nineteen ninety-seven is a classic example nervous. Or what yeah. Yeah everybody thinks I'm a freak in Nineteen ninety-seven Ellen. Degeneres was seen as what she says on the show like a freak and was afraid of being perceived as a freak for saying that she was who she is. I mean I knew that it would be big but I. I had no idea that it would be this big and I actually didn't know what was going to drag out for so long either so I understand the frustration but it just was something that I decided and wanted to do and thought it would be wonderful for me and as a result. Did you decide for the character? I that you wanted the character to give the character some kind of or did you decide for yourself hers. I decided for me first and then I thought it's because I never thought it was anybody's business who I am who I am with and so I thought why do people need to know and then I realized that as long as I had the secret that I worried about all the time that it made. It look like something was wrong. Hot Worried were you Ellen Mike got what would you do when you get interviewed when you became famous in? And you would do interviews with different. Reporters tried to dodge. The question tried to would would anybody out. Now ask you. Sometimes they would and then I was just saying my private life is my private life. I don't want to talk about it which I always believed and then when I decided that it was time for me to to say I'm fine with WHO I am. I feel good about me. I'm not ashamed of WHO I am. I thought really who cares still about me. What got you to be the spine with saying it. I don't know I mean I've I've become more comfortable with myself just in general person and in my body how. I look just everything. Why did you think it was necessary for you to come out? You know you've read some of the male people say so why not. Just let that be your business. Why was it necessary for you to come out? Tell the public. Why was it necessary for the character to do? So because it's okay because it is ellen such an amazing and profound example of being able to step out of whatever is the lie of your life and many people have lies in various forms. Whatever is the lie of your life and let yourself blossom in the fullness of your own truth the worst hate mail I ever received came after doing the Ellen Degeneres show and it was so surprising to me that people had such vitriol in such impassioned ingrained beliefs about the sexuality of other people people would stand up and so strongly defend their right to say demeaning things about other people because of who they are. It's sin it's no different than adult. It's no different than You Know Robin in Lyon and I don't think you're a freak. I don't think I think you're a very nice person but I think you're living in a lifestyle that is wrong. I feel like if the families out there had the PR person as the gay and lesbian community. Does it'd be great for families to it. Just feel like we're being stuffed with this right now down our throat. It's why why because because you don't have to fight for anyone to embrace you and say how wonderful you have family and children and that's just accepted. That's of course. People are going to embrace. That and I agree. There's been way too much. Focus on there's been in the show it was sup- Sup- It wasn't supposed to leak out. It was supposed to be just these subtle clues till it happens time. That's why I think that's when I had the carton of Milk GonNa have my ten year old boy there and Yep I'm gay. What's that mom you know and I feel like know we should know what last night because I've received so much mail and one of the common themes running through a lot of the mail that I received a lot of people felt that me being on your show was me promoting lesbianism. I simply wanted to support you in being what you believe was the truth for yourself and what I gathered from. A lot of the male is that there's a perception and I've been trying to to fight this for years on TV. That gay people are just swinging from the chandeliers having sex all the time and that they're all marching in the Mardi gras parade with feathers and Boas and that they don't understand that to the greatest extent. Gay people want the same thing everybody else wants. Yes and and I think that's why this is such a big deal and I think that's why people are having such a hard time with it because they do perceive anyone who's gay or lesbian to look a certain way and they don't understand and people that look like me don't usually come out because it's you can kind of hide it and it's quiet majority. Yeah because you realize that the people at the checkout counter and the people sitting next to them in church and directing the choir and you know at the theater and all over and I'm not trying to change anybody's opinion on anything other than to say that I'm fine with who I am now and for a long time I wasn't and I understand the fear of but I'm I'm okay more of this episode after a short break. Today's episode is supported by better health. If you're struggling with stress anxiety `isolation or depression right now. You are not alone better. Help offers online licensed professional counselors. Who can help better help? Counselor specialize in issues such as depression stress anxiety relationships sleeping trauma anger family conflicts. Lgbtq matters grief self esteem and more connect with your counselor and a safe and private online environment. Anything you share is confidential simply. Fill out a questionnaire to help. Assess your needs and get matched with a counselor in less than twenty four hours easily scheduled secure video or phone sessions with your therapist plus exchange unlimited messages. If for any reason you are not happy with your counselor you can request a new one at anytime at no additional charge. Better help is a truly affordable option and listeners. Get Ten percent off your first month with the Discount Code Super Soul that's better. H E L P dot com slash super soul. Talk to a therapist online and get help. I think about the courage. It would take back in one thousand nine hundred eleven because at the time she had her own. Sitcom and it was successful. But it wasn't until she allowed herself to be truthful with the world that I think her life and her career really took off. Look at what's happened to Ellen. Degeneres since nineteen ninety seven. That show went away and I know for a time. She was feeling not so good about that. And now every day on the Ellen Degeneres Show. She literally GETS TO DANCE. She literally gets to dance and all of the other successes that have come to her have calm. I think in great part because she was able to set herself free and not be limited by the secret she was holding all those years. Ellen I have spent as much time off camera as we've spent on camera I've we've had dinner together. We've done a magazine cover together. We've had phone conversations. We email and I would have to say that she has become more and more and more authentically herself over the years that the person that she is now compared to who she was back in one thousand nine hundred seven cannot even be compared because she let that let that secret that burden that that space of her that was trying to hide and protect itself. She let that go. The truth will set you free. Think about for a moment. The amount of time effort and energy it takes to hold and carry in bear a secret. That is a ally about your life. Think of all of that is wasted. Time it's just wasted time and a wasted part of yourself and so for anybody who is pretending in any way to be something that you are not let me assure you. I can't guarantee a lot of things what I can guarantee. You will not have the life you deserve. If you're pretending to be anything that you are not in two thousand and five. I interviewed Ginette walls. A gossip columnist and Glamorous Park Avenue Socialite who was hiding a shameful family secret covered Oscar parties. I covered the Academy Awards. I covered the Golden Globes was interviewing the richest was powerful. People in the world. Ginette wasn't just covering high society. She was living in two. I was living on Park Avenue. I was married to a very well to do man. I thought this is it. I am everything but at the same time. I was a complete phony. I'm a liar. I don't belong here and I knew that lived in fear of being exposed for who I really was. It was just a matter of time before the truth of genetic past would be exposed. We lived in a little tiny house without indoor plumbing and I would literally wash my face and snow because we didn't have running water. Genetic alcoholic father and eccentric. Mother could not hold down jobs so the family was penniless from a very early age and we just had a new. This is the way it is and you don't turn to mom and dad and tell them you're hungry go for days sometimes without food at seventeen with only one hundred dollars. Ginette boarded a bus determined. Never to look back skedaddle out West Virginia and came to New York and I got myself a job. I got an apartment and we had electricity and we had heat with sheer determination. She finished high school graduated from Barnard. An Ivy League college and became a rising star reporter was sort of change certain level of success of something in constant fear that my secret out and people would realize who. I was and who my parents were. Meanwhile to Jeanette Torah her Bagabandi parents. Trailed her to New York. My first reaction was stay away. Just get away from me as she lived in the lap of luxury on Park Avenue. Her parents slept on the streets. Please don't tell anybody that you're my parents. It's very hard for me to explain to people why you're living like this. But one night ginette realized she could no longer live the lie. Well I went home to Park Avenue when I used around the apartment and I looked in the mirror and I didn't much like the person looking back at me and I got in touch with my mother. We had LABRA system getting together. I had dinner with her and I said what am I supposed to tell people when they ask me about you and she said tell them the truth as there was the simplest thing in the world but I I felt. I couldn't possibly explain to anybody why my parents were living like that and more. What kind of monster would let her? Parents live on the street while she was living on Park Avenue I was leading completely. Had offered to give them a home. Provide them with shelter. Yes yes many times. I've offered to help my mother to have her move in with us but my mother and I love her dearly but she chooses the lives she leads and it took me a really long time to understand and accept that I finally come to appreciate and not be ashamed of whatever it is that she has to offer. And how did you get to that? I did exactly what my mother told me to do. I told the truth. There was no doubt in my mind that once people knew who I really was that I would lose all my friends that I would lose my job that I would lose everything. I've worked so hard. Rbc Pariah I hugely underestimated people's capacity for compassion. So the eye opener for me has been shane a very isolating emotion. And you build up this shell around you and what was your shame. It was dual. Shame was that I was living this life while my parents were living another the other was who I was. It was my past and I thought if people knew that I wasn't this. Glamorous person that they would reject me and that really interfered with any sort of happiness that I had or any feeling of success that I had absolutely anytime I ate. Will I felt guilty about my parents. I felt like a fraud for just dressing up and going out. So what was the central element that help you to begin to? Shed the shame. Well one was my mother challenging me to tell the truth one actually sort of involves you in a sort of roundabout way I was. I was covering the launch of Oh magazine and I was asking celebrities you know. What makes Oprah Winfrey special and it was your friend Gayle. King said something she said. I said what makes Oprah Winfrey special and she said while she's pulling herself up with one hand she's pulling up with the other hand thought. Oh my God because I think I'd been very selfish and trying to get ahead and trying to build up this shell and I didn't really care about anybody other than myself and getting ahead. We hold secrets. It creates shame. Shame is a great barrier to success because when you carry the shame you don't allow yourself to fulfill your greatest potential. You do not honor the truth of Yourself. You do not honor what is your highest self and so for so many people and I know this also for myself being ashamed is like a veil that covers your entire life and when you walk into a space the energy of that Vale is there so being able to let go of the secret being able to say out loud. Whatever it is you've been holding back and what is holding you back. Allows you to release the shame you let go of the secret. You release the shame. I have never known an instance where anybody was able to let go of the secret and the shame and not be better off their lives because people who care about you who genuinely love you people who want the best for you want you to set yourself free people who want the best for you also want you to be free since. Ginette was on that show. She says she realized that her Park Avenue lifestyle was no longer a fit for her so she moved to rural Virginia where she now lives on a farm with her husband. Horses chickens and dogs her mother Rosemary. Now lives with her. This is what I want everybody to go away and think about I. I read your emails and I've received a lot of wonderful messages from you over time and many of the things that you say to me resonate one of the reasons why I feel like I have such a connection to you. All is because early on in my career. I learned how to be one hundred percent completely myself and my ability to just be myself in front of all of you is and has been the greatest opportunity for me to live my best life. What is true for me is not true for me because I am a quote celebrity or famous person. It's true because all truth sets you free. Whatever is holding you back in your own life. Whatever is preventing you from being your authentic self is also keeping you from your truest greatest power. Think about what's holding you back. I'm Oprah Winfrey and you've been listening to super soul conversations the podcast. You can follow super soul on instagram twitter and facebook. If you haven't yet go to apple podcasts and subscribe rate and review this podcast. Join me next week for another super soul conversation. Thank you for listening. 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