Ellen DeGeneres has opened up about how her dad struggled with her being openly gay.
DeGeneres, who first came out publicly in 1997, said her dad had found her announcement ‘a challenge’.
In an interview with Hello! Magazine in the UK, the 58-year-old chat show presenter and star of box office smash Finding Dory said: ‘My dad is a wonderful man but he has a lot of fear and he was overprotective of me.
‘He didn’t want me to hurt myself so he wanted me to be nice and quiet all the time and not really argue or speak my opinion.
‘So imagine his challenge of having an openly gay child.’
Ellen DeGeneres: ‘I learned the hard way’
DeGeneres said her desire to come out grew as she became more independent.
‘When you’re growing up, whatever your environment is, if you don’t know any different, that is what it is,’ she told Hello!
‘I didn’t know anything was wrong until I got older and I started doing some soul-searching and read some books.
‘I learned a lot of lessons the hard way, which is a beautiful way to learn them.’
Now happily married to Portia de Rossi, 43, who she wed in 2008, DeGeneres said she clicked with the underlying message of Finding Dory, ‘which is that whoever you are it’s OK to be you’.
Power couple don’t want kids
While DeGeneres and de Rossi have been married for almost a decade, the pair have been open about not wanting children. Last month, DeGeneres told Australia’s Sunday Style newspaper supplement: ‘We talked about it for a minute, about four years into the relationship, but we just decided we like our conversations not being interrupted and our furniture without sticky grape juice on it.’
And de Rossi had previously told a gay publication that ‘There comes some pressure in your mid-30s, and you think, “Am I going to have kids so I don’t miss out on something that other people really seem to love?
‘“Or is it that I really genuinely want to do this with my whole heart?” I didn’t feel that my response was “yes” to the latter.’
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