Well-known Australian comedienne Magda Szubanski announced on a national television show that she is gay.
The actress who is best known in the United States as Mrs. Hoggett, the farmer’s wife in the "Babe" movies, and as the voice of Miss Viola in "Happy Feet," also admitted to contemplating suicide as a teen.
“Oh yes, yeah, absolutely...people will say, ‘Why did (I) take a while to do this?’ I needed to be as solid as I could be so I could do this in the strongest possible way and be really clear about myself,” she said on Channel 10’s "The Project," a nightly chat show.
She also admitted to feeling great empathy for gay teens who struggle with their sexuality. “Oh my God, I know how those kids feel,” she said. “Believe me, I know how those kids feel.”
The actress, who also has been a Jenny Craig spokesperson, took issue with Australian tennis great turned evangelical pastor Margaret Court who recently created a media firestorm when she said homosexuality is a choice and often the result of sexual abuse. Szubanski said that while she respected Court’s tennis prowess (a former No. 1 player and winner of the Grand Slam) she disagreed with her stance on homosexuality.
“All this notion of choice, the notion you can terrorize or frighten -- they used to give people electric-shock therapy,” she told radio station 3AW a day after her television interview. “I think all you can do is respect what people are and (show) the most compassion and empathy that you can bring to the situation, trying to foster in people -- who they really are and help them to be their best self.”
The 50-year-old said she is relieved at coming out so publicly, although her sexuality was never a secret to family, friends and colleagues. Szubanski said she has been “absolutely overwhelmed and so moved by the beautiful response,” she has received from the Australian public.
Below see a slideshow of other celebrities who have come out of the closet.
Correction: An early version of this story mistakenly attributed the quote in the last paragraph to Margaret Court.