Brandi Carlile Says She Came Out Because Of Ellen

Carlile was only 14 when she came out following Ellen’s famous “Yep, I’m gay,” Time Magazine cover.

Brandi Carlile, who won three awards at the Grammys last week, performed an acoustic song on Ellen yesterday for Valentine’s Day. After her performance, the iconic lesbian singer-songwriter sat down for a brief interview with Ellen DeGeneres and revealed a precious detail about why she decided to come out as a teenager.

The queer duo were speaking about the Grammys and how Carlile’s acceptance speech focused on feeling like a misfit after coming out. Then Carlile revealed that it was DeGeneres’s famous coming out (in 1997) that inspired her to live openly as a lesbian. Carlile was only 14 when she came out following the famous “Yep, I’m gay,” Time magazine cover.

“I basically just outlined that I came out of the closet when I was 14 years old because of you,” Carlile told DeGeneres. “I never attended any parties or was never invited to a dance or anything like that. And I said that being embraced by such an enduring and loving community was the dance of the lifetime. And it really was,” she added, speaking about the community she has found through music.

DeGeneres, for her part, said, “It was a brave thing to do too. I mean, most people that are performing… they worry about their career, so it’s a brave thing for you to be open and out.”

Carlile also spoke about her excitement about playing an upcoming show at Madison Square Garden and invited DeGeneres to join her.

“That’s the kind of thing—when you’re sitting in your bedroom with your guitar, and you’re 17 years old, you don’t think you’re ever going to play Madison Square Garden. But you can hope, and it is going to be an unfathomable dream for me,” Carlile said.  “I hope you come.”

DeGeneres assured her that if she could, she would. Watch the full exchange here.