20 Years After Ellen

It was recently the 20th anniversary of Ellen‘s coming out – both as a person and as a character on her sitcom.  As I watched the retrospectives, a thought came to me – why did Ellen come out?  I don’t believe the character was conceived as gay.  It wasn’t a storyline that was planned.  Back then, I remember people saying, “Well, it’s obvious Ellen Morgan is gay – look how she dresses.”  Or, “Ellen DeGeneres can only play gay – did you see Mr. Wrong?”  Aside from the many good things that came from DeGeneres’ coming out, I wonder if part of that legacy is also perpetuating the stereotype that gay actors can only play gay roles.

Not a single week can go by without someone claiming that Ellen and Portia are on the verge of breaking up.  They’ve been on that verge since the moment they met.  I never paid attention to that – until I saw Ellen’s reunion show.  At the end, Portia came out to give her a kiss.  Never was a kiss so uncomfortable, so choreographed, and so unconvincing.  I’m not saying, I’m just saying – keep an eye on them.  And don’t be surprised by anything!

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