From the Great White Way to the White House

While there won’t be a woman in the White House anytime in the near future, 24 took the reins and elected to cast two-time Tony Award winner Cherry Jones as its first female president, Allison Taylor, who is likely to have everything including terrorists, WMDs, and the kitchen sink thrown at her. Jones sat down with The Advocateto talk marriage, the White House, and her "fluid" relationship with partner Sarah Paulson.



Because you’ve worked so much on Broadway and not
been placed under the Hollywood microscope,
you’ve flown under the radar and avoided
tabloid scrutiny. Are you concerned about your
relationship and your personal life becoming
tabloid fodder with this new exposure?
Well, it has occurred to me, but I try not to
think about it. It’ll happen if it happens, and
if it doesn’t it doesn’t.

Another election-related question: You starred with
Brooke Shields in What Makes a Family --
about a lesbian couple and the landmark Florida adoption
case and custody battle -- and now, here in
California, we’re fighting wildly to ensure
that Prop. 8 doesn’t pass. Are you at all shocked
or surprised that we’re still having to
fight for these rights?
Oh, not in the slightest. I mean, honestly, I
remember the first time I heard Bob Dole say on the
floor of the Senate “gay marriage,” I thought
I was going to fall over; even though he was
mentioning it in a pejorative way, I thought, Wow,
we’ve really come a way that Bob Dole is talking
about gay marriage, even in a negative way.

I’m old enough that any movement forward is
thrilling, not fast enough, but understandable in this
polarized nation of ours. If Barack Obama is not elected
president, perhaps the rest of the world will finally
understand that half of this country is being held
hostage by the other half.

I know that you thanked your partner when you won
the Tony back in 1995, and then you kissed Sarah and
thanked her when you won for Doubt, which
were both watershed moments for lesbian
visibility. Have you always been out and honest about
who you are?
Yes. I’m a very timid person in a lot of
ways, many, many ways, but for some reason, my
sexuality has always brought the lion out in me. I’ve
never been timid about that. I’ve always made a point
of telling everyone I meet -- when the time is right
-- that I’m gay.

Well, we all thank you for that. No need. Not when it’s that easy. I just
have a lot of people before me to thank. At my age,
coming into New York post-Stonewall, and in the
arts… It’s not like I was an
accountant’s secretary in Topeka, Kan.

Well, I have one other question to ask you, and I
suspect you might not answer, but maybe I’ll
get lucky. Since you are a New Yorker and
you’re right across the border from Massachusetts
and Connecticut, will we hear wedding bells in your
future anytime soon?
Oh. Oh, no. Sarah and I are in a fluid
relationship, which pretty much precludes marriage.
[Sarah Paulson interrupts in the background.]
Oh, Sarah just said, “Fluid makes it sound like
it’s an open relationship.”

Yeah. I was going to ask you to elucidate, because
I had that same reaction.
Well, it is not an open relationship, but
we’re not ready for marriage.

So, we’ll call it self-defined. [Laughs] Self-defined is a wonderful way
of putting it.

--The two-hour
television movie
24: Redemption airs
Sunday, November 23. The seventh season of
premieres on Fox in January.

Tags: television