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WATCH: Ellen DeGeneres Teaches Oprah's Master Class On Coming Out

WATCH: Ellen DeGeneres Teaches Oprah's Master Class On Coming Out


Ellen says she never thought she would come out on a television show. 

Lesbian icon and popular talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who came out to Oprah Winfrey twice on TV in 1997, reunited with Winfrey for an episode of Oprah's Master Class on Winfrey's network Sunday.

In the episode on OWN, DeGeneres said she never imagined coming out at all and "didn't think I would be coming out on a show ever." DeGeneres is most well known for coming out on her sitcom, "Ellen." ABC canceled the series shortly after her character came out to a therapist, played by Winfrey and publicly announced "I'm gay" to her love interest, Susan, played by Laura Dern.

DeGeneres herself came out as a lesbian during a 1997 guest appearance on Oprah, Winfrey's long-running talk show. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her wife, actress Portia de Rossi whom she married in 2008.

In Oprah's Master Class Ellen said she was inspired by a "hippy course" she took called Inner Dialogue of Your Subconscious Mind. "I wanted to know what the inner dialogue of my subconscious mind was, and it was scary and crazy," she said. "What came out of listening to what I had been saying to myself is, 'Would I still be famous? Would they still love me if they knew I was gay?' And my fear was, 'No, they wouldn't.'"

When Ellen rehearsed that key scene in "The Puppy Episode" of the Ellen show, she cried each time her character said "I am gay." She explained that most people rarely have to announce their sexual orientation: "to say that sentence out loud in front of a whole bunch of people is scary as hell and emotional and empowering which is why most people cry when they tell their parents or tell anybody," she said.

"I am not fearless. I didn't do it because I am fearless. I did it in spite of the fact that I was scared to death."

Watch an excerpt of Oprah's Master Class below:

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Elizabeth Daley