WOTM: Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres || Her Pursuit To The Happiness of Love

“Find out who you are and be that person. That's what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.” - Ellen DeGeneres

Those words of self awareness come from non-other than this love-filled issue’s Woman of The Month. She has come a long way to be an inspirational icon, not only to the LGBTQ community but to the rest of the world as well. She has showed her level of strength, bravery and courage to all by making the wise choice to do and be what makes her happy. And even if that meant not feeling accepted by everyone around her, at least she was true to and able to accept herself.

Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born and raised in carefree Metairie, Louisiana, the daughter of a speech therapist and an insurance agent. Both Ellen and her brother, Vance, are of French, English, German and Irish descent and were raised as Christian Scientists. At the age of 15, Ellen’s parents had filed for separation and were later divorced. Shortly after, Ellen moved away from her childhood home to live with her mother and new stepfather in Atlanta, Texas. 

After graduating from both high school and university, and working several different jobs at a J.C. Penny and a TGIF branch, with jobs as a house painter, hostess and a bartender, Ellen found herself experiencing stage fright at a public speaking event. The only way to mask her nervous aura? She turned to comedy and humour! She was astonishing and entertaining in a unique way that this event led her to pursue what she had a natural instinct for: stand-up comedy. Her approach to the, then uprising, phase of comedy as entertainment, was so fresh and distinct that many loved her work and felt the passion she was inserting into every act. She stood out, and that’s what made her so desirable to watch. “The only thing I really recommend, if you're starting out in stand-up is to not try to copy anybody else. You can be influenced by people. I was influenced by Steve Martin and Bob Newhart and Woody Allen, but I never tried to be someone else. I always tried to be myself. And the reason people are successful is they're unique”.

After launching her comedic career, Ellen went full-fledged into her passion and worked hard at coming up with original skits and before long would become extremely successful. It was her hard efforts and the strong faith she had for herself that put her on the smooth road to success. Ellen was lucky enough to realise and bring realisation to everyone around her that when you don't go for the money but instead for what makes you happy, the money and success will follow. “Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that”.

A rather big part of her success came from being herself and not anyone else. So, after announcing that she was a lesbian, it was no surprise that she kept herself in the mind set she has always been faithful in: being her true self. “I had everything I'd hoped for, but I wasn't being myself. So I decided to be honest about who I was. It was strange: The people who loved me for being funny suddenly didn't like me for being... me”. The day she decided to share her true sexuality with everyone was not only the day she let herself free from under a mask, but it was also the day she inspired so many others to open up about the same things they were going through. She may have had a minor set back after the announcement, however when the people started to understand and accept her situation, she gained more loyal and truthful fans. The people did not only begin to accept her situation but they had also found a new form of respect towards her, for being brave enough to be and love who she really is. “It's our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique. And that's what I know for sure... I think”.

Ellen DeGeneres never did get discouraged nor give up when things started to get tough. She persisted and got through all the undeniably tough obstacles thrown her way. She has brought laughter, joy and love to everyone who has been given the pleasure to watch her do what she loves. To this day, she continues on to pursue her mission: to make not only herself, but others happy. To bring joy to the people around her and to never stop supporting love, all forms of it. “For me, it’s that I contributed… That I’m on this planet doing some good and making people happy. That’s to me the most important thing, that my hour of television is positive and upbeat and an antidote for all the negative stuff going on in life”.


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