I feel thrilled for Robin Roberts. She survived a terrible ordeal with cancer to emerge beautiful, victorious and finally able to come out publicly about who she really is. Robin Roberts is a gorgeous, vibrant, loving, talented woman who also happens to share her life with another woman. Good for her!
I was on the beach in Provincetown Massachusetts with my girlfriend when my neighbor Andrew Sullivan told me with a proud smile that his friend Anderson Cooper had come out via an email to him, and given Andrew permission to put it on his site. It was thrilling to be standing on the beach watching gay couples holding hands, in a town that has long been a safe haven from homophobia, and get the news that one more public person had decided to be brave.
Rock on Anderson!
With the demise of DOMA excuse me for a moment will you dears -- "HURRAY! YAY! WOO HOO!" you would think that coming out would not be such a hard choice for public figures but clearly it is.
Do you know any A-list movie stars who are out? Do you really think there aren't any?
Right. Okay. Jodie Foster finally took the public plunge. She's not exactly an A-lister anymore, but better late than never. You go girl!
My own coming out story is less glamorous.
I was fifteen years old when a French kiss in the women's bathroom of Toad Hall, (a nightclub in Red Bank New Jersey that, at the time was one of the few places in Jersey that would let punk bands play) changed my life forever.
It was 1979 and I had no idea I was gay. I had never even considered the notion, but five seconds into that spontaneous and miraculous kiss with Cindy Butler (name changed, she's not as brave as I wish she was) and I knew my life would never be the same.
Suddenly all the answers to questions that had plagued me since I was four-years-old came spilling forward like an avalanche!
That's why I had to bring my first grade teacher Mrs. Mahon an apple every week!
That's why I could not even consider being anywhere but the television set every Wednesday night, in time to see Lindsay Wagner play "The Bionic Woman!"
I took a lot of abuse in the 7th and 8th grade, and didn't even know why I was targeted, but my abusers knew. Pretty preppy popular girls knew there was something just not Kosher about the girl in the flannel shirt.
Oh I got my revenge my dears. I broke out of my shell and ruled my high school as the badass, rock-and roll, biker chick from hell!
But even then, I was covering up. I knew I was different just didn't know exactly how, that is until that one kiss blasted the walls open.
It wasn't like I was ready to admit out loud that I was gay after that. It took a few more years to come out to my pals who all said the same thing: "DUH!"
I didn't come out to my mom until I was twenty-five. She offered to pay for treatment to "help me live an easier life."
"That's okay mom, I like myself the way I am."
I have marched in parades, joined rallies, but in some ways, without my realizing it, I was still in the closet.
When it came to running a company that specialized in weddings, I didn't want to alienate couples or their often-nervous parents. Rather than anointing myself rainbow, I marketed myself as "alternative!"
Lord knows that's true.
Then marriage equality hit the mainstream, and I realized that if I didn't fly my gay flag, I was part of the problem not the solution.
Yeah that was me at the Gay Pride parade with the sign reading, "Gay Caterers do it with sauce!"
What can I say, I'm a poet!
Whoever you really are, just go out and be it, live it, do it.
Life is too short to live in closets, even ones with really great shoes.
To Robin and her long-time girlfriend, Amber Laign, I say MAZEL TOV!