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Rosie O’Donnell Describes Publicly Coming Out as a Gay Woman on TV

Rosie O’Donnell was in the public eye for a long time as a closeted gay woman. In an exclusive preview ahead of Wednesday’s episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, the 58-year-old comedian recalls the moment she publically came out.

“When I came out after 9/11 it was like a blip,” O’Donnell said. “I was surprised that people thought I was not gay.” The Estefans asked O’Donnell how she came out and O’Donnell shared that she “just blurted it out” while on stage. “I went to a comedy club and I was doing stand-up. And I’m like, ‘I’m gay. Listen, 9/11 happened, I’m gay. I’m telling you all, I’m gay, in case the buildings blow up again, I’m so, so gay'”.

Rosie made sure her fans knew she was gay and that she was going to live her truth after years of not being vocal about her sexuality.

While on The View, there were rumors that O’Donnell and former co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, were more than friends. “There was a little bit of a crush. But not that I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to support, raise, elevate her like she was the freshman star shortstop and I was the captain of the team,” O’Donnell said in Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.

Hasselbeck, on the other hand, had a very different opinion of their working relationship. “The truth is, what she said, if you took her words and replaced ‘Rosie’ for ‘Ronald,’ there would be an objectification of women in the workplace. So that is disturbing and it’s wrong,” Hasselbeck said in 2019. “Whether you’re a man or whether you’re a woman, and you’re objectifying women in the workplace, it’s wrong.”

O’Donnell is someone who shares her warts-and-all journey and we’re here for it.

Before you go, click here to see all the celebrities who have talked about being bisexual, sexually fluid, pansexual, or queer. 

Dakota Johnson

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