Ellen DeGeneres has candidly opened up about the moment she first came out as gay. During an interview with Dax Shepard for his Armchair Expert podcast, the TV presenter - who is married to actress Portia de Rossi - confessed that she was particularly hurt by Elton John's reaction. "Even Elton John said, 'Shut up already. We know you're gay. Be funny'," she shared. "I had never met him and I thought, 'What kind of support is that from a gay person?' But everybody assumed I was just nonstop talking about. It hurt my feelings."
Ellen DeGeneres confessed she was shocked with Elton John's reaction
In April 1997, Ellen, 60, publicly came out on the cover of Time magazine, swiftly followed by an episode of her ABC sitcom. She explained: "This is a long, long story - but they really didn't want me to come out. I wanted to come out. I said, 'It's my life. I want to come out. I want the character to come out. It's the time.' I said, 'I'm going to lose the career. Like, you can just put another show on. It's my show to lose' - even though it wasn't my show."
READ: Ellen DeGeneres wants invite to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding
Of the backlash, Ellen added: "People were making fun of me. I was really depressed. And because of that and because the show was cancelled, I was looked at as a failure in this business. No one would touch me. I had no agent, I had no possibility of a job, I had nothing." After the sitcom, Ellen quickly became one of America's most popular TV hosts. It's been a year since Ellen celebrated the 20-year anniversary of her coming-out episode on her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "It was the hardest thing that I ever had to do in my life," she said. "And I would not change one moment of it because it led me to be exactly where I am today, standing in front of all of you."
MORE: Sir Elton John reveals his children are behind his retirement