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Welcome out, Elyse Keaton!

by Jeremy Hooper

Meredith-BaxterComing soon to Lifetime: "A Woman Who Loves Other Women: The Meredith Baxter Story":

It's just a coincidence Meredith Baxter recently appeared in the Hallmark Channel's ''Bound By a Secret,'' but ironically the actress reveals a very personal secret on ''Today'' this morning.

Baxter, perhaps best known for her seven years playing TV mom Elyse Keaton on ''Family Ties'' in the 1980s, will be the latest star to come out of the closet, revealing she is a lesbian.

TV mom Baxter bares a big secret today [Chicago Sun-Times]

Don't worry, Mer: Alex P. was always more of a fiscal conservative. We wouldn't expect his to start up an anti-gay "Focus on the Family Ties" or anything.

**UPDATE: The "Today" video:

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Your thoughts

Hmmm. Her first big break was as the elder daughter on the series "Family", which also starred Kristy McNichol.
Wonder of there's a chance Gary Frank is gay?
In any case, good for Meredith. Better late than never.

Posted by: Bill S | Dec 2, 2009 9:16:45 AM

That's great! I remember her as far back as the 1970's when she starred in a CBS sitcom called Bridget Loves Bernie and a catholic girl marrying a Jewish man, played by her then husband, David Birney.

Posted by: John Ozed | Dec 2, 2009 9:51:20 AM

This is the sort of thing that truly confuses straight folks into thinking gay people can change orientation and do at the drop of a whim.
The mitigating issues like career suicide and family abandonment or physical threat to gay people isn't a part of the conversation on mutability they want to have.

This is the sort of thing that requires straight people to think about what it costs gay people to try and lead a life that's presumed to be heterosexual. What is costs straight people directly involved...like the straight spouses and their children.

When Ms. Baxter's career was new back in the day, coming out or entering into a committed relationship with a woman was out of the question.

Why the dominant culture sees no benefit in a gay person having the luxury of coming out to an accepting world is beyond me.
And so is why so reluctant to see the negative aspects when someone doesn't because they CAN'T.

Straight folks want to be lied to.
And yet, will throw stones at gay people and call them secretive liars!

The consequences of the impossible conundrum of bigotry.

Meredith Baxter is lovely. Always has been and I'm glad she's found the happiness, support and love she's always deserved.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Dec 2, 2009 10:40:15 AM

Wonderful. We absolutely cannot have too many 'celebrities' OUT and PROUD and LOUD.
May she tell her story over and over and over, to all who will listen.

Posted by: LOrion | Dec 2, 2009 11:05:30 AM

I found it rather touching how awkward and uncomfortable this was for good ol' Mer. Aside from the continuing Hollywood industry stigma around coming out, Mer sounds like one of those public people who just genuinely prefers not to talk about her personal life, that is to say she's really an introvert in general by nature, not only around the issue of her sexuality.

I also love the fact expressed toward the end of the interview, that she realizes there's a political ramification to all this, even though she doesn't think of herself as a very political person. The act of coming out is ALWAYS political, whether or not the person coming out considers it to be so. Few of us come out for purely political reasons...that certainly wasn't my motivation (and I came out very late like Mer). But once I was out, my political consciousness inherently was enlarged and expanded.

Bravo, Mer. May more Meredith Baxters (and Neal Patrick Harrises) come out, for the sake of us all.

Posted by: CDMatthew | Dec 2, 2009 8:16:24 PM

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