Portia DeGeneres lets us in with “Unbearable Lightness”

Portia knew she was gay, and went to great lengths to hide it from the press. She talks about giving interviews and fielding the questions about her sexuality. Here’s an excerpt from the book, taken from an interview she gave to Rolling Stone Australia:

The rumor is that De Rossi was spotted in clubs around Melbourne recently cosying up to other girls. So does that mean she’s bisexual? A lesbian? a long delighted squeal comes down the telephone line. "Oooh, how fun! I love that question!" she says, shouting now. "Let’s just say every celebrity gets that rumour and now I feel like I’ve joined the club. Hooray!"

A few years later, she felt hopeless that she’d ever look like she should, but it led to a somewhat positive turn in terms of accepting her sexuality.

I had decided that I would very carefully make it known that I was gay to a few gay people around me. I figured that I had completely ruined my career by being fat, so I might as well be gay also. I figured that if I ever worked again, it would be as a "character" actress or playing the best friend to the lead female, so if my homosexuality was rumored around town, it wouldn’t really do any further damage to the image I’d already created for myself by being fat.

Portia writes that she finally got the nerve to go to a lesbian bar and approach a woman to dance. Her first relationship was made difficult because of her eating disorder.

While I enjoyed being in my first relationship with a woman, my bulimia intensfied … I hated that I had to lie and hide my secrets from my work and from my girlfriend. My paranoia and fear of being exposed — for having an eating disorder and for my sexuality — were excruciating.

The relationship only lasted four months, but it had caught the eye of a female paparazzo who waited for Portia in front of her building and followed her around, hoping to catch her doing something tabloid-worthy. She writes that the paranoia led to her relationship ending, because she was scared to be seen as gay and at her weight at the time. ("I didn’t want to be in a magazine for being a fat actress.")