Jussie Smollett Eternally Grateful To Ellen DeGeneres After His Coming Out Interview

"I am a gay man. I am a gay man. I am a gay man."

Jussie Smollett sat down with OUT magazine recently to discuss his life after Empire’s meteoric rise and, naturally, his sexuality was a main topic.

Specifically, his coming out, which took place during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Smollett was concerned about how the media would portray him after finding out he was gay, but says that Ellen made him so comfortable that any fear he had quickly dissipated.

“I was like two months deep into this fame thing,” he said. “The second you say something, they want that to be your storyline forever. That narrative doesn’t interest me at all.”

Despite feeling that way, he said he was “ready to talk about it” if Ellen had asked, and her response was, “You don’t have to.”

“I will be forever grateful to Ellen for the kindness she showed me,” he said. “And that made me want to talk about it.”

So after the main interview, the cameras turned on in the green room, where Smollett thanked Ellen for all she’s done for the LGBT community before saying, “There is no closet. There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in.”

At the time, some took issue with the fact that Smollett never actually said the word “gay” in his outing, which he addressed during his interview with OUT.

“I am a gay man. I am a gay man. I am a gay man,” he said. “I don’t know how many times I have to say that.”

You can revisit Smollett’s conversation with Ellen in the clip below.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.