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Watch: Portia de Rossi Tells Oprah About Her Coming Out Process and Her Mother's Shame


Portia de Rossi sat down with Oprah yesterday to discuss how she handled her coming out and her acting career, and how her mother reacted to the news of her sexuality.


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  1. Portia's mum's response to her being gay is not uncommon in regional Australia. Things are getting better. But she was living in LA when she came out and her mum's back in Geelong. Things are very different there. It has a population bigger than Darwin but no gay clubs, at the best you can hope for is gay friendly ones.

    When I came out to my mother the first thing she said was "You haven't got AIDS, have you?". I was 18 and had only slept with one person who was also a virgin when he met me. I was thinking in my head, WTF? And for many years after she was still trying to set me up with girls. That only really stopped when I started dating my current partner. He is the only one who has been treated as a son in law rather than the reason she doesn't have more grandchildren...

    So yeah her mum's dealing with it is something I can relate to.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 2, 2010 6:58:27 AM

  2. I like you Portia. And after saying that, time to go a vote Democrat.

    Posted by: malo | Nov 2, 2010 7:12:46 AM

  3. "...is the only one who has been treated as a son in law rather than the reason she doesn't have more grandchildren..."

    That must've felt awesome, I'm sure.
    Thanks for sharing, Chris.

    Posted by: silverskreen | Nov 2, 2010 7:23:28 AM

  4. I've thought about this one a lot. What I would say to my kids if they were gay, and I decided awhile back that I would just say:

    Great, now pass the mashed potatoes.

    As a parent, I think you worry about cruelty inflicted on your child--or I do. "Gay" and what it means....I could care less. If they are happy and in love, that's all I as a parent could ask for.

    However, I know how cruel the world is. I know how evil and ugly people can be, so would I want my child to be gay? Not in this world at this time. I would be afraid that they would be abused, picked on, or hurt.

    I wish the world was different, but until it is I will fight for all of you to be treated kindly and decently. I don't want anyone to feel afraid just because they want to love someone.

    From this mom of two--God bless all of you and if I could with a wand take away all the meanness you've suffered in your lifetimes I would.


    Posted by: Rin | Nov 2, 2010 9:00:09 AM

  5. Thank you Portia. You are an incredible person.

    Posted by: Dan | Nov 2, 2010 9:08:52 AM

  6. I love this woman! Thank you, Portia, for this articulate, honest discussion on coming out!

    Posted by: rb | Nov 2, 2010 9:16:56 AM

  7. She really is the best! Bring back Arrested Development damnit!

    Posted by: CJ | Nov 2, 2010 10:48:34 AM

  8. Dear Portia, I love what you said, "...there is a very fine line between being private and being ashamed."

    Posted by: Uluwehi | Nov 2, 2010 12:06:33 PM

  9. Good for Portia . She is amazing. The BIGGEST irony is that she's saying all of this to Oprah, the biggest closet case (along with her pals, John Travolta and Tom Cruise).

    Posted by: Mikey | Nov 2, 2010 12:39:55 PM

  10. Mikey: Oprah is not a "closet case." As she's said, if she were gay, she would not want to anything but "live her truth."
    As for Tom Cruise, I don't know for sure, but the way he and Liberace both sued for millions for someone suggesting they might be gay makes me wonder about the both of them. It's the ones who are terrified of being thought of as gay who are always hiding something.

    Posted by: gregv | Nov 2, 2010 4:12:32 PM

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