Portia DeGeneres: I had no lesbian role models

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Portia DeGeneres says her struggle with her sexuality contributed to years of suffering with eating disorders.

The former Ally McBeal star, now married to talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres, revealed that she didn’t know of any lesbian actresses to look up to.

She told Ellen: “I think I would have still suffered from an eating disorder if I wasn’t coming to terms with my sexuality.

“I really had the eating disorder because I started dieting when I was 12 and because of a lifetime of chronic dieting.

“But it sure didn’t help that I was hiding who I was because who I really was was completely unacceptable, I mean there were no lesbian actresses in the history of acting, I had no real gay role models, it was a very tough time.”

Portia, who chronicled her battle with anorexia in her memoir Unbearable Lightness, said her weight dropped to just 80 lbs but she still saw flaws in her appearance.

She said: “I looked in the mirror and I saw that I had very emaciated arms, I saw bones and I knew I was underweight, but my eye went to the inch of fat that I still had on my stomach and I went to my thighs, and it still does, that’s kind of what I do when I look in the mirror.”