Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mrs. Keaton's a What?

This is probably old news to all of you by now, but Meredith Baxter, star of "Family Ties;" Ben and countless Lifetime movies, came out publicly today. The 62 year-old actress says it was a late-life realization and has been in a relationship with her partner for five years. Once married to actor/director David Birney and a mother of five, Baxter realized that taking part in a lesbian cruise last year would come to surface, so she decided to make the announcement herself, before the tabloids and creeps like Perez Hilton did it for her.

She says she has lived a very out life in L.A. for the past seven years, and that all of her friends and family already knew.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this. First of all, of course, "Yay!!!" Another celeb comes clean. Second, I'm stricken by how sad she must have been for 55 years... no one should have to wait that long to live the life they were born to live. And sadder still that an impending announcement by the sleaze-tastic Perez and the even worse TMZ, forced her to come out. While I am a firm believer that coming out will set you free, I also think it should be a personal choice.

I've never been a fan of third-person outing. Yes, even though they've never actually said "I'm Gay," we all known tons of celebs who are, including CNN hottie Anderson Cooper, Jodie Foster and Queen Latifah - all of them outed by third parties, whether they wanted to be, or not. And of course poor, put-upon Rupert Everett whines about how coming out killed his career (honestly, Rupert, making a movie with Madonna is what killed your career - not the fact that you're gay). But how much damage can be done to one's C-List career at age 62?

I applaud Ms Baxter for the courage to come out publicly. I wish more celebrities would (no, not you, Adam). I'm glad she finally found love as it actually gives me hope. But still...

The point is, we shouldn't care. It shouldn't be shocking when anyone comes out. It shouldn't be shocking that anyone is gay. Or straight, bi, transgendered or inter-sexed. This is 21st Century, folks. I thought we were all supposed to be enlightened* by now. Get on with it already, would you? Sheesh!

Anyway - here's Baxter on the Today show:

And here she is in her tour-de-force performance in the TV Movie "A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story" (co-starring the once very attractive, ambi-sexual Stephen Collins):

Honestly, this is a good thing. As more public figures come out, the more people will realize that sexuality neither defines or confines us and that who we love is far less important then the fact that we do love.

*Wow... that's such an inside joke...

More, anon.

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