Portia de Rossi on coming out as gay: 'I didn't want to be a lesbian'

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Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres are now one of the most recognizable gay couples in the world, but there was a time when the decision to come out as a lesbian was incredibly difficult for the "Arrested Development" star. In a new interview on "The Conversation With Amanda De Cadenet," de Rossi discusses coming out publicly in 2005.

"I just didn't want to be a lesbian," she admits. "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.'"

de Rossi continues, "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.''

To find comfort from the troubles she was having with not being honest about her sexuality, de Rossi turned to dangerous companions: eating disorders. During the course of her run on "Ally McBeal," de Rossi combated a range of unhealthy eating habits that she describes as being like her "lover."

''The thing that kept me company was my eating disorder. It was like a lover, it was like somebody who never ever left me. Like a thought that would always keep me excited, interested and focused. It's adrenaline," she admits.

Life has gotten easier for de Rossi since she came out and later wed DeGeneres in August 2008. Her full interview will air on "The Conversation With Amanda De Cadenet" on Lifetime on Nov. 10.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images