On Monday’s (May 2nd) episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Portia de Rossi shared a story about coming out to her grandmother—and why it wasn’t easy.
De Rossi’s grandmother was a fan of the sitcom Ellen and “wouldn’t miss an episode until the episode where she DeGeneres came out.” After learning about DeGeneres’ sexuality, her grandmother would say “that disgusting woman” whenever DeGeneres appeared on TV. “That didn’t bode well for me,” said de Rossi, who was closeted at the time.
After moving to Los Angeles, the Arrested Development star began dating the famous talk show host. One time, while at home visiting her grandmother, de Rossi said, “I sat by gran’s chair at her feet. She said to me, ‘Are you seeing anyone special?'” to which de Rossi replied, “Gran, I’m with Ellen.”
De Rossi’s grandmother was 99 at the time, and she put her head in her hands. “I thought, ‘That’s it, I’ve killed my grandmother,'” she said. But her grandmother “just looked at me and she goes, ‘Well, I love you just the same.'”
DeGeneres shared that de Rossi’s grandmother had their wedding picture next to her bed until she died at the age of 103. “My grandmother meant everything to me, we were actually born on the same day,” de Rossi said.