Announcing You're Gay at 62: Meredith Baxter (Publicly) Comes Out of the Closet

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Most of us know her as Michael J. Fox's former-hippie liberal mom on "Family Ties". She announced she's gay this morning on the "Today" show.


    We're at the end of 2009. Meredith Baxter is 62. On a personal note, congratulations. --- But, in the context of Gay Visibility...

    Should Meredith have come out of the closet a couple decades ago? Doesn't it do more good to the gay movement - in a political context - if you announce you're gay while you're professionally hot and americans still connect with you?


    I had to re-google Harvey Milk's thoughts on the subject; he says nothing about coming out to the public at large, but...
    "...Gay brothers and sisters,...You must come out. Come out...to your parents...I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives...come out to your friends...if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors...to your fellow workers...to the people who work where you eat and shop...come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by the votes from Dade to Eugene."


    On one hand, Harvey says "Come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else".... yet, contradictorily, he also advices us to come out to those random people "who work where you eat and shop".

    I suppose we "know" Meredith as well as the those people "where we eat and shop".

    Hmm. I suppose Harvey would have wanted Meredith to come out publicly, earlier, but late is better than never.
     
    #1 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  2. Flashy

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    she does not owe anything to gay visibility, the gay movement or anyone but herself.

    this is a non-issue.

    just because she was "professionally hot" in the mid 80s she does not have to throw her life in to potential chaos just because you and the "movement" want her to for "visibility".

    people's lives are their own, and they do not belong to organizations, movements or those who demand more of them but don't live in their own skin.
     
  3. nudeyorker

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    Who the hell are you or Harvey Milk to tell people when and if they should come out? Everyone should be allowed to come out for their own comfort level not your agenda for the gay rights movement.
     
  4. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    That jerk Perez Hilton already outed her.
     
  5. Gillette

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    Coming out earlier also assumes she could conciously admit to herself that she was gay at that time, was comfortable with her orientation and felt prepared to deal with potential backlash.

    Certainly high profile figures coming out helps the gay movement but putting pressure on someone to come out before they are ready to do so on their own certainly doesn't help the gay person. Sacrificing individuals to the cause defeats the purpose.
     
  6. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Also, to forestall criticism, I am only thinking out loud here, in a safe forum -- as I did on another thread. I hope people do not internalize and take the comments personally.
     
  7. Lex

    Lex
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    People comes out when they feel ready to do so. Not before, not after.

    Welcome to the open GLBT, Meredith.

    P.S.-- Nudeyorker--I Love ya!
     
  8. Northland

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    Well, hell WT, maybe she was trying to follow your earlier advice and was trying to assimilate.

    Since you feel compelled to take her to task, I will do the same to you. Give a damn link when you post these matters, if that is not included, it may turn out to be nothing but cheap rumor and gossip.

    According to the report I located, through a news search, she just figured this out herself a few years ago. Seven to be precise-therefore your desire to have her dashing from the closet 'decades ago' would most likely not have been a possibility. After 55 years as a heterosexual, this wasn't exactly something she wanted to push out at the world immediately-what if she had found herself later, wondering if she'd been wrong and had merely confused warm loving friendship and curiosity for something more?


    http://www.content.usatoday.com/com.../post/2009/12/meredith-baxter-im-a-lesbian-/1

    "Some people would say, well, you're living a lie and, you know, the truth is – not at all. This has only been the past 7 years," said Baxter, 62, explaining that she's "extraordinarily happy." And the famous Family Ties mom says it sheds some light on her three previous marriages (which resulted in five kids). "I understand why I had the issues I had earlier in my life. I had difficulty connecting with men."

    She added, "I got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with," she said, citing Nancy, a general contractor she met four years ago and with whom she lives a "very out life with in Los Angeles." Nevertheless, she's opening up now because she says that the National Enquirer and Perez Hilton have been on the story. "I did not want some tabloid to take the story and make it up -- I wanted it to be in my own words," she told Lauer
    ."


    Lastly, she, as is everyone is entitlled to reveal as much as she feels comfortable with. Clearly, she did not want this to become a publicity event-which it now will be-and felt forced by the media circusry of Perez Hilton and the such. She is not required to tell anyone anything, Have you told the entire world yet WT? If not, then aren't you failing?
     
  9. Flashy

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    well, maybe you should get your facts straight first:

    “I am a lesbian and it was a later-in-life recognition,”

    “I’ve always lived a very private life,” said the actress, who’s never even had a publicist. “To come out and disclose stuff is very antithetical to who I am.”


    "Some people are saying, were you living a lie? And, you know, the truth is, not at all. This has only been in the past seven years," she said.

    Meredith Baxter admits she never expected this to happen, wasn't looking to date women, as she had been married three times. Her first marriage to Robert Lewis Bush in 1966 resulted in two children, and ended in divorce in 1971. She then married actor David Birney, having three children with him, after which they divorced in 1989. In 1995 she married actor and screenwriter Michael Blodgett which ended in divorce in 2000.

    -

    so i fail to see how she could have done it in the 80s anyway.

    p.s. - sorry NOrthland, we posted a minute apart.
     
    #9 Flashy, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  10. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Who figures out they're gay when they're 55?

    What about the gay gene the biologists are searching for?


    I've slept with several woman, but I knew I was primarily gay from an early age (pre-pubescent).

    The gay movement has been pushing "born that way" as a favored mode of explanation, because "choice" seems arbitrary. Throughout history, from what I can make out, the gay population has been fairly constant (about 5% or so of the population). There seems to be even an evolutionary imperative, but homosexuality is a constant, small portion of the populace. If you come out at 55, were you denying sexuality beforehand?
     
  11. Northland

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    WT, do yourself a huge favor, think and then think again and then compose a post and then think about it before hitting the submit button. Your constant whine of 'I am only thinking out loud' or I was just 'thinking out loud' gets tiresome and meaningless. Either you believe what you write or you don't and I for one become rather tired of your continual 'Thinking out loud' excuse whenever groups of people offer an opposing view from yours-and you do it all the damn time. They were your thoughts initially, so own them, don't try watering them down at your convenience to appease anyone.

    You create threads which are good, and have potential; but, then turn and run from your original statements-it's infuriating! It also keeps people from either taking you seriously or even reading the threads you begin (knowing you will change shirts on a sneeze). As I said, you have good starting ideas, I just would like you to stick to the ideas you express in them-whichever way they are.
     
  12. Flashy

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  13. Northland

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    Not a problem Flashy.
     
  14. Gillette

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    Keep in mind that people are still, even today, confusing orientation as being about who you screw moreso than who you love.

    She may have always felt a very close kinship with other women but never felt the desire to give one an orgasm.

    You speak of nature but you're forgetting the other powerful influence; nurture.

    Homosexuality, particularly in women, wasn't as open for discussion back when she was growing up so it's not something that would have crossed her mind often if at all.
    I don't know much about her but she strikes me as a "nice" girl raised in a "nice" family to meet and marry a "nice" man. If she'd never felt feelings of lust or love for another woman why would she question her programming?
     
    #14 Gillette, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  15. Lex

    Lex
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    Many people do. I figured it out post-30 (and after being married).

    Good for you. Please understand that as we are all individuals, we will each have unique experiences.

    Maybe, maybe not. Not everyone who comes out later in life was in denial. Not everyone who comes out younger avoided any level of denial.

    I know people who knew from as young as 18 or 10, to people who came out in their teens, to early twenties to later 40s and 50s. Better late than never, I say.
     
    #15 Lex, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  16. Flashy

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    well said, Lex
     
  17. B_theOtherJJ

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    Its kind of anti-climactic now, but no surprise. There had been whispers for years.
     
  18. D_Rod Staffinbone

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    thinking? really?
    it's becoming a stretch to think that you are capable of that.
     
    #18 D_Rod Staffinbone, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  19. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Flashy & Northland: You guys are both right. I had not read the article. I woke up in the morning at 5:00 am (CA time) -- I'd fallen asleep with MSNBC on, so the TV was buzzing, and the first thing I heard was Joe Scarborough saying Meredith Baxter had just come out on "Today". And I did feel upon hearing it, "Where were you the past 10 years, lady, while gay people were fighting for basic rights and anti-discrimination laws and marriage equality?"

    Meredith does admit to possible previous homosexual feelings when she says this: "I understand why I had the issues I had earlier in my life. I had difficulty connecting with men." -- Which does seem to point to a certain level of latent awareness, and sexual denial, which may not have occurred in an open society.

    It's this "choice" thing that I see is probably (subconsciously) conflicting. I've been programmed to believe I'm "born gay". That's been pounded into me through media and pop psychology since the 1980s. We talk of a gay gene and DNA . In part, it's one of the foundational messages of the contemporary gay movement to combat homophobia, and I find the idea of people discovering homosexuality in their 50s and 60s novel and difficult to square.
     
  20. D_Rod Staffinbone

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    why don't you go after "open-minded" morons next?
     
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