After much speculation about his sexuality, Empire actor Jussie Smollett has come out to Ellen DeGeneres in an episode that aired today, March 9.

When his Empire character recently came out as gay, many fans started to wonder about Smollett's sexuality as well. And though the actor avoided the question on the talk show, he later made a point to sit down with Ellen DeGeneres and speak from his heart.

"It was very, very important to me that as my first... talk show, that it was with you," the actor explained to the host. "You've been an inspiration to so many, but also to me, what you've done in the LGBT community, is very much, in my opinion, what Michael Jackson did for the black community. He was just Michael, and you're just Ellen."

"It was really important to me that it got across that there is no closet," he continued. "There's never been a closet that I've been in. I don't own a closet. I got a dresser," the actor joked.

"I don't have a closet. But I have a home, and that is my responsibility to protect that home," he explained. "That's why I choose not to talk about my personal life. There is, without a doubt, no closet that I have ever been in. It was most important for me to make that clear to you, on your show, at this time in the world."

DeGeneres, who understood Smollett's wish not to discuss his personal life, also proudly praised him for "never pretending to be anything you aren't."

"Ever. Ever. So let's not read into it the wrong way when I say I don't talk about my personal life," he said passionately. "It is in no way to hide or deny who God made me."

"My mama knows. My mama likes me a lot," he joked. "And yes, I take her to the Sound of Music singalong every single year."

Watch Jussie Smollett discuss his sexuality with Ellen DeGeneres in the moving video above.