Ellen DeGeneres: 'I Wish I Had Come Out Sooner'

Ellen DeGeneres is known for being an incredibly popular talk show host, in addition to her flair for comedy. The 59-year-old came out as a lesbian 20 years ago in 1997 at age 39 on her sitcom, and although she is happy she did it, she sorely regrets waiting so long to come out of the closet.

The landmark episode was a bombshell, which unfortunately made some fans take a dislike to Ellen DeGeneres. The successful star reveals that she received death threats from angry individuals and horrible messages from homophobes who felt the need to let her know how they felt about her own business.

But Ellen DeGeneres says that receiving these horrid messages weren't the worst thing to happen after the episode aired.
"The biggest thing was that I lost my career. For three years, I couldn't work, and was not offered one thing. I was running out of money and didn't know if I was going to work again. I was 45 years old, and I was like, 'This doesn't look good.'"
During that time, Ellen DeGeneres was starring in her own sitcom, and she came out on an episode entitled "Puppy."

She recently reflected on the episode on The Today Show and her experience of coming out.

"I was anticipating it being a charged episode, which it was, because it was making a big decision to come out, and to be honest and to stop hiding something that I had kept secret for so long. I wish I would have done it sooner. I wish I hadn't waited so long."
Ellen DeGeneres has also reflected on questions she fielded about whether or not America was ready for her to come out, but said that since she was one of the first TV personalities to come out, she doesn't think she would have ever been ready and had to simply take a leap of faith.

Since regaining her career, Ellen DeGeneres has been the host of her own show since 2003, proving that even if the world wasn't particularly ready for her to come out, many were still willing to accept her for who she was.

But no doubt, she did suffer through troubling emotional and financial times as she struggled to make ends meet between her sitcom Ellen and her talk show, Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"It taught me compassion. It taught me that I was strong enough to start all over again. It was the greatest thing to ever happen to me."
Ellen DeGeneres' show has enjoyed an immense amount of success, and the star stays incredibly humble. She doesn't chock up all of what she's achieved to herself and gives her staff the accolades they deserve.
"I love what I do. I love making people happy, and I love making people laugh, and have a good time. And we have a great group of writers, and great producers, and we just work hard every single day to make it new and exciting."
Recently, she was asked if she would ever have President Donald Trump on her show, as she has hosted former President George W. Bush, the former First Lady Michelle Obama, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, and the former President Barack Obama on her show.

She responded in the negative, stating she wasn't interested in having him ever make an appearance.

However, she has met him before, and she reflected on their visit on The Today Show.

"I don't know him. I mean I know him from Celebrity Apprentice because when we first started this show, I think Season 1 or 2, we went out there and we filmed something with him and so I flew in his helicopter and did a bit with him. So I knew him then [but] I have not spoken to him since he's run for president or become president."
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]