Gives Thanks




Celebrities Come Out

It all began last December when, after being spotted on an all-female cruise with her girlfriend, Family Ties actress Meredith Baxter surprised a generation of TV viewers by acknowledging she’s a later-in-life lesbian. The overwhelmingly positive response—not to mention sudden high visibility—seemed to open the floodgates for others. By spring Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie told The Advocate that he identifies as queer, while Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes ended a dozen years of speculation by telling this magazine he’s gay. Pop star Ricky Martin wrote on his website that he is “a fortunate homosexual man,” and True Blood’s Anna Paquin disclosed her bisexuality in a PSA for the Give a Damn Campaign. Two women in music, Christian vocalist Jennifer Knapp and country-western singer Chely Wright, raised their profiles by coming out as lesbian. Also coming out this year were talk radio host Stephanie Miller and former Power Ranger David Yost, and even the venerable Archie Comics caught up with the times and introduced a character who revealed he’s gay to unflappable Jughead. The biggest political coming-out was by former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman—and then there are all the politicians whose orientation was revealed (but kudos to California state senator Roy Ashburn, who came out after his drunk-driving arrest and apologized for his antigay record). Regardless of how, where, or why they spoke out, the message is welcome.