The queen of comedy, 58, spoke to Out magazine as part of its Out 100 issue. “I was the punch line of lots of jokes. I laughed at some, but I realized there’s somebody on the other side of them. It’s cruel," she told the magazine. "I’ve never liked mean comedy, but that became even more important to me after I was the brunt of it.”
DeGeneres had her hit sitcom "Ellen" from 1994 to 1998, but after the show was canceled, the next few years were hard, she says. It wasn't until she got her talk show in 2003 that she started to get her confidence back after revealing a very personal thing to the world.
"I wasn’t sure if I was going to work again, and although I was out, I was still trying to alter myself -- not dressing the way I wanted to dress or wearing my hair the way I wanted to. I slowly gained the confidence to be authentic, and what I’ve learned about other people is that they strive to be authentic, too. So whether they fully support me, love my lifestyle, or love that I’m married to a woman," she said.
Her show now boasts multiple Daytime Emmy wins, including for Outstanding Talk Show. She's also been chosen as Out's Entertainer of the Year for 2016.
"Time is a strange thing. I was at rock bottom and out of money, with no work in sight, but one step at a time, it gets better. It gets much better than better," she added.
DeGeneres spoke to People magazine earlier this month about the couple's enduring happiness.
"Portia and I constantly say to each other, ‘We are so lucky,’" she said. "Sometimes it’s lying in bed at night before I go to sleep, and I just say thank you to whatever, whoever is out there. I’ve gotten to a place where I really am just settled. Really. I know that I’m not going anywhere. She’s not going anywhere."