YouTube: The Ellen DeGeneres
YouTube: The Ellen DeGeneres

Comedian Jerrod Carmichael has opened up about the “self-hate” he felt before coming out.

Back in April, the 35-year-old publicly came out as gay in his critically acclaimed HBO special Rothaniel.

While talking about his father’s infidelity, the TV star said he felt “like a liar” when the affair became public knowledge due to his own secret.

“After that was out in the open, I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret,” he said.

“One that I kept from my father, my mother, my family, my friends, and you. Professionally, personally. And the secret is that I’m gay.”

Since the release of Rothaniel, Carmichael has become an open book regarding his life as a newly out gay man. 

During a recent interview on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Mid90s star reflected on his coming out journey and the self-hate he felt while in the closet.

“I’m sure some of the bits and things in my life that I deeply regret were a product of, like, self-hate and denying who I really was,” he explained. 

“So I think the material and a lot of those things – like when I wasn’t talking about myself, I was talking about everybody outside of myself, just throwing missiles as much as I could. 

“All smoke bombs, all distractions from who I really was and the thing I was afraid of.” 

Elsewhere in the interview, Carmichael praised DeGeneres for the massive impact she had on him growing up. 


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“We both faced whatever obstacles coming out, and everyone has their own personal journey, family things and personal things to overcome,” he said. 

“But you faced coming out at a time when, I mean, it just was impossible. There was no precedent. There was no Ellen DeGeneres to come out to show you what it’s like.” 

He went on to say that he and his mom enjoyed watching all of DeGeneres’ milestones – despite coming from a “Southern and Christian” household. 

“It’s no small thing. I don’t want to discount that because it’s really huge,” he continued. “The idea of having a gay person welcome in my mother’s home, it seemed impossible. And you did it.” 

Towards the end of his appearance, DeGeneres asked about his relationship with his family, to which Carmichael said it’s “not easy.”

“I’m making the decision to be sturdy, kind of accepting things that are things that I can’t change,” he explained.

“But it is a long time coming for me to be able to be in that position. It means some distance from my family, but that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be.

“I hope that it changes, but that’s what it is right now. It doesn’t mean it’s a sacrifice of happiness, and I think that’s really, really important to say as well.”

Check out his full interview here or below.