Portia de Rossi talks about her struggle before coming out in an interview on "The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet". In the interview, the actress reveals that she "didn't want to be a lesbian" because she had "these ridiculous images in [her] head" about being gay.
"I just didn't want to be a lesbian," she says. "I'd never met one for a start and I just thought they were strange and that they hated men and they were very serious and I had these ridiculous images in my head and there were no out celebrities or politicians or anybody that I could look to and go, 'Oh, I could be like that.' "
"There was nobody that I could say, 'I could date her and I want to be like her,' " she adds. "I just kind of thought I don't want to live like this. I don't have to, I don't need to, I just shut down the emotional life." The Nelle Porter depicter says that she had hard times when filming "Ally McBeal" because she hid her sexuality. She also believes that hiding her sexuality contributed to her eating disorder at that time.
"I felt very scrutinized for just being a woman and an actress playing this kind of sexy role, because I didn't really feel like that. It's not really my personality to want to be the sexiest girl in the room. I didn't like people thinking of me as a sexual being, and I was just terrified that people would know that I was gay," de Rossi explains.
The actress, who came out of the closet in 2005 and married her partner Ellen DeGeneres in 2008, also says that being honest about herself "was a huge turning point for me, because I realized without changing my life, there was no point in changing the way that I ate."