Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge says coming out gay was scary for her generation.

In an upcoming wide-ranging interview with Dan Rather on The Big Interview, which can be seen on cabler AXS TV on Monday, October 14, Etheridge, 52, discusses when we first became aware of her sexual orientation.

“It's a funny journey,” Etheridge said. “I imagine nowadays kids can kind of be more aware of it because it exists and we talk about it. When I grew up, I remember in junior high someone saying, 'Oh, she's a lezzie.' And I went, 'What's that?' I had no idea. And it was a bad word. When I finally realized when I'm about 15 that all my friends are, 'Oh, Joe, Bobby, Mike,' you know, and I'm Jodie. You know, I'm like – 'Wait a minute, what am I doing?' – that it's a scary thing. It was scary for my generation. The first time I kissed a girl I was 17 and that's when it was like, 'Oh,' it was a huge difference.”

Etheridge added that she spent a lot of time kissing boys “trying to make it work.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)