Speaking Monday on the Oprah Winfrey
Show, Portia DeGeneres said she didn't want to be gay, and that
her talk show wife, Ellen DeGeneres, saved her from an out-of-control
The 37-year-old Australian-born actress
said she knew she was attracted to women in her teens, but rejected
the idea that she was a lesbian.
“I thought that if I was just
experimenting with another straight girl that I wasn't gay,”
DeGeneres said. “We were just two straight girls experimenting.
But I was afraid of being around lesbians because I thought if I'm
going to be with a lesbian, it must mean I'm gay. And I didn't want
to be gay. I wanted to be quote normal.”
The Ally McBeal and Arrested
Development star said hiding her sexuality led to her eating
“Having to hide something like that
just ruined me,” she said. “It really, really killed me.”
And she received a warm round of
applause when she said that “Who cares” is the best response to
the news that a loved one is gay or lesbian. (The video is embedded
in the right panel of this page.)
The title of DeGeneres' memoir,
Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, available now,
also hints at how her wife helped her overcome adversity.