Ellen DeGeneres Reveals the Negatives That Happened After Coming Out

"You can imagine how much that hurt me," she said of that time.

ByABC News
October 27, 2015, 12:56 PM

— -- Ellen DeGeneres came out in 1997, and almost 20 years later, the famed comedian and talk show host is opening up about the backlash she faced following her reveal.

After DeGeneres came out on her sitcom, she appeared on Oprah's show and gave an interview to Time magazine. She told "Oprah's Master Class" this past Sunday that after the attention the show and the articles got, "everybody got so sick of it, it got to the point that even Elton John, who I had never met in my life ... said, 'We know you're gay, shut up and be funny.'"

"You can imagine how much that hurt me," she said, adding that she didn't even know the iconic singer at the time. "I had done three interviews!"

DeGeneres, 57, who has been married to Portia de Rossi since 2008, said she had to learn what it was like to be "the butt of every joke" soon after that iconic moment in 1997.

"I had to learn what that feels like, to not let things get to you," she said.

But there were the letters DeGeneres got from fans and those thankful to her.

"I remember the first letter I got, where somebody said I saved their life," she added. "They were going to kill themselves and they didn't because of what I did."

In another clip, the former Oscars show host actually said she never thought she was going to come out.

"I didn't think I was going to be coming out, period," she said. "I didn't think I'd be coming out on a show ... but I just didn't want to pretend to be somebody else anymore, so that people would like me."