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Ellen DeGeneres came out in a cover inter-
view with Time magazine in 1997 and two weeks
later she came out again, this time on her self-
titled sitcom, Ellen. But that pivotal moment for
DeGeneres—and for millions of gays and lesbi-
ans around the world—almost didn’t happen.
DeGeneres told Us Weekly late last year, “I didn’t
think I was going to come out, period. I didn’t
think I’d be coming out on a show, ever.”
But after a meditation retreat during which
she confronted her worst fear—that her fans
wouldn’t love her if they knew she was gay—she
decided that she could do it. Her coming out on
that Time cover on April 14, 1997 with the simple
words “Yep, I’m Gay” changed the course of
LGBT history forever, setting a precedent for
stars to come out rather than be outed, and giv-
ing ordinary people afraid to speak their truth
the courage to follow in DeGeneres’s footsteps.
While her career did initially take a hit and she
lost popularity and her show, DeGeneres even-
tually came back bigger and better than before,
even eclipsing Oprah Winfrey in the ratings
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which first aired
in 2003, has been such a success that it has
broken ratings records and scooped up scores
of Daytime Emmy Awards. The show’s YouTube
channel boasts nearly 17 million subscribers.
And DeGeneres is also a hit on social media.
A selfie she tweeted with her A-List pals while
hosting the 2014 Oscars broke Twitter’s retweet
record (it was retweeted 3.4 million times), and
today DeGeneres has over 61 million followers
on Twitter. That’s a lot of people who love her,
no matter her sexuality.
In 2008, DeGeneres married American-
Australian actor Portia de Rossi; they are still in-
separable and seem to be happy, in spite of the
unending tabloid rumors that they’ve broken
up or are divorcing. In an interview with report-
ers at the premiere of Finding Dory in London,
when asked what discovery she had made
personally, DeGeneres responded that her dis-
covery was that De Rossi was her “true love,”
effectively squashing reports that their relation-
ship was in trouble. While in London to promote
the film, DeGeneres and de Rossi attended the
Wimbledon Ladies Final, which had been one of
their long-shared dreams.
Finding Dory has brought DeGeneres more
career success over the summer. It is the long-
awaited sequel to Pixar’s animated box office
smash Finding Nemo, in which DeGeneres
voiced Dory, a sweet-natured blue tang fish suf-
fering from short-term memory loss. For many,
DeGeneres’s character was the highlight of the
Here, DeGeneres takes time out to discuss
the new film—and a few other things.
SO DORY, WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG?
That’s what I was asking, over and over. For 13
years, I’ve watched every other Pixar movie get
a sequel—Toy Story, Shrek, Cars—and everyone
has wanted a Finding Nemo sequel.
DID YOU EVER IMAGINE YOU WOULD GET
YOUR OWN MOVIE?
That I was not expecting. I never campaigned
for that—publicly—but behind the scenes
[laughs].... No, I was so interested to know more
about Marlin and Nemo and Dory, but I never
thought a movie focusing on Dory was ever in
the pipeline. But I’m very happy it turned out
that way. And I love that this story focuses on
where she comes from and her background. It
was a very organic transition because last time
it was all about finding Nemo. This time we
wanted to learn where she came from, why she
was the person she was—always helping other
people, asking what can I do, but this time it’s
a personal journey for her—where is my home,
why am I here? And everyone wants that sense
of belonging. They want to know about their
roots, they want to discover their place in the
world. And she learns a lot about herself, and it’s
funny and sweet and touching.
THE FILM IS PERFECTLY TIMED—EVERYONE
NEEDS A DOSE OF DORY. WE NEED TO LOOK
AT THE WORLD THE WAY SHE SEES IT, WITH
WIDE-EYED OPTIMISM. DOES THAT MAKE
WORKING ON THE FILM ALL THE MORE SPE-
Absolutely, especially with what’s going on
right now. A film that puts that positive message
out there, distracts people from what’s hap-
pening, and is exactly what we all need. Dory is
perfect. She’s optimistic, she’s non-judgmental,
she’s sweet, she’s compassionate, and she’s
got friends that look different from her. I mean,
that’s sort of a beautiful thing.
FROM THE AFTER-END-CREDITS SCENE
IT LOOKS LIKE THERE COULD BE A THIRD
MOVIE. WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO DORY
DOWN THE LINE—LOVE? ROMANCE? SHE
Yeah, that would be really interesting, to see
if she could handle romance, for numerous rea-
sons. I’m sure there’s a lot of practical issues that
might prove problematic—forgetting about her
significant other, for one. And I don’t think there
are too many romance things in Pixar movies. I
don’t think Pixar has ever done that, so I don’t
know if it would suit.
SO THERE’S NO ROOM FOR LOVE IN A PIXAR
Love, yeah—but romance, I don’t know.
WHAT ABOUT WOODY AND HIS GIRLFRIEND
IN TOY STORY?
There was a flirtation, but I don’t know if
they actually got together. Without giving it
away, I think, yeah, you’re right, there could
be more about who’s involved at the end of
the credits. Or Hank, I think we could follow
on his story. Or maybe Hank and Dory might
THAT WOULD BE REALLY SWEET. THERE
WAS SOME FLIRTATION BETWEEN THEM.
As flirtatious as Dory can be.
DO YOU THINK WE WILL EVER SEE A GAY
CHARACTER IN A PIXAR MOVIE?
There might have already been some gay
characters in there. I’m just saying there might,
but I don’t think it’s the woman with the short
hair. She just happens to have short hair. She
just happens to have short hair and someone
jumped to the conclusion that she was gay. And
I know lesbians, and she wasn’t one [laughs]. I
think I know what I’m talking about here.
lotl.com • Lesbians On The Loose Magazine
INTERVIEW | COVER STORY
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