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'Family Ties' mom Meredith Baxter is a lesbian: 'It was a later-in-life recognition'

"Family Ties" mom Meredith Baxter has done an end run around those who would have outed her, revealing to the world that she's a lesbian.

Baxter This is shaping up to be private-people, public-revelations day here at the Ministry.

"I did not want some tabloid to take a story and make it up," she tells Matt Lauer on the "Today" show. "So I wanted it to be in my own words." She approaches it all with a quiet, no-big-deal manner.

The interview starts out a bit surreal (Are we post-"Ellen" yet?) but finally the nerves are banished, and she's charmingly funny at the end.

"How do you feel now that we've talked about it?" Matt asks. "I'm gonna die!" Meredith blurts. And when Lauer points out that she did indeed survive, she says, softly, "Yeah, ha, are we done? Thanks, Matt. Thanks for being the guy."

And though the interviews with "Today" and People magazine are what will blanket the nation, Meredith's chat with the Advocate, where she talks about being "America's mom" and also a gay mom is pretty rockin' too. 

Interview In her first interview with the gay media, she describes to the Advocate the moment when she realized the truth:

"The analogy I’ve used is a story [from] when I was a kid. I never could see very well .... When I was 12 I tried on a [friend’s] pair of glasses and I was stunned with how clearly I could see. In truth, I used to think trees looked like lollipops because there was a solid stake and this solid ball. I didn’t know most people could see leaves. Oh, this is how the world is perceived?

"That’s kind of what having that second relationship [with a woman] made me realize — that this is where I want to be because I was dead to the world in many other ways. I’ve been married three times, and I have a slew of children, but I’ve never felt that kind of connection before in that kind of awakening.

"It was very profound for me"

Baxter also makes the Ministry chuckle when she touches on her realization that hey, nobody was really rushing to out her until now, despite the pretty open lifestyle she has been leading here in L.A.:

Advocate: Have you been hiding in plain sight this whole time?

Baxter: Yes, I have. You know, I did reach a point where I thought, Am I invisible?

Now that sounds like an actress.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Meredith Baxter in 2008, above right, and talking to Matt Lauer on the "Today" show on Dec. 2, 2009. Credits: Richard Drew / Associated Press, right; Peter Kramer / NBC / Associated Press, left.

More LGBT dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

Chaz Bono speaks out -- happily, and in a much lower voice

Adam Lambert performs 'Whataya Want From Me' on Letterman's show. World does not end.

Bea Arthur wills $300K to help homeless LGBT youth

Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Facebook and Twitter (we're @LATcelebs).

Comments () | Archives (43)

Well I am totally not surprised, she was a client of my bosses when she was married to david bb. So this is just a nother women coming out, and realizing that men aren't everything they are cracked up to bel. We really don't need them at all.

great interview! good for you, Meredith!

Matt Lauer is a first class act. This is the way all news reporters should act. He was considerate, compassionate, and understanding, AND he still asked the questions.
Kudos Matt Lauer!!!!!

This is news why? Who the heck cares.


What a waste of an interview. Lauer proves his network is going down the dumper.


Am I the only one that thought she was going to admit she'd killed someone or had sex with her Dad or something? They started the interview off so awkwardly by Matt asking, "should I say it or should you say it?"

I was totally sitting on the edge of my seat expecting something truly awful when she says, "I'm a lesbian."

I actaully said out loud, "What?!? That's all!?"

"I did reach a point where I thought, Am I invisible?" -- hey, you still are...

So suddenly at age 62 she discovers that she was "born gay", but before that she preferred men and believed herself completely straight. Here is the real cause:

"For this reason, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done." (Romans 1:26-28)

It is all clear now! No wonder I was so attracted to her!

Slow news day? Maybe 20 years ago this would be a story lol.

Gay men love to tell women that their man would be lost to them after gay sex. They LOVE to tell women that. Lesbians probably feel that ALL women would prefer the lily if they would only be honest with themselves. At Meredith Baxter's age, does she want hot lesbian sex, really? I have found that it doesn't take sexual expression to feel closely connected to someone. Sorry folks, the parts just aren't made to fit together.

God, who cares! This story is the TOP NEWS on Google, it's all over Yahoo, it's busting out of Faux News. There are millions of lesbians in this world. This is kind of like saying "Geena Davis is tall," or "Joe Biden says stuff without thinking." Coming out about being a lesbian is so... ten years and twenty minutes ago.

There's healthcare. War. Climate change. Financial disaster. But we get... An Aging Ex-Sitcom Actress IS A LESBIAN!!! Please, everyone. Get. A. Life. This kind of "distraction" is why politicians can pull stuff on us so easily, why our environment is crumbling and our health insurance is so predatory. They give us this junk and we, somehow, for some reason, pay attention.

All right. I'm better now. This is just--really dumb. Except it's kinda cool to hear man-haters telling us they don't need men. For that one (first post), I suggest the writer tell it to her dad.

Oh man, look at me. I'm doing it too. We're doomed.

This is news! I don't care what other people do in their bedrooms! I do however care about having it cramped down my throat! TMI! TMI!

So, what! I can do what with this information. As much as I could with the sexual habits of my parents! Nothing at all and get a ucky feeling to boot.

Good for you, but this isn't news.

Yawn, now what was that?

Personally I think this surprised me more than any "out" story I have heard. This makes me believe that a lot of these types of realizations after failed hetero life for women are largely a result of how men are creating lesbianism among hetero women...I think this may be the case with Meredith but I am not sure...just a gut feeling... a lot of women are fed up with men's failure to connect in depth in relationships and are becoming single and celibate versus staying miserable in a relationship...I recent study found that women had to be happy in a marriage to feel satisfied in that relationship...otherwise the health of the relationship dictated her own physical health...where as with men it was not the case...men could be in a mediocre or even a "bad" marriage and it would not effect their health. Women take care of men but they do not take care of women in the same way typically...this has something to do with it in my opinion.

And this is of interest to me and everyone else. As Stacy Bartley says "whatever". Not an issue to anyone I know. If she would rather have sex with another woman more power to her. And I am straight as an arrow--LOL

If all women are going to be lesbyan and all men are going to be gays the world is going to soon be over.What happen to having children and populating the hearth

Your gay, so what? Seriously, no one cares about your sexual preference. When was the last time someone made headline news by coming out that they were heterosexual?

Apparently an aging sitcom actress is not getting enough attention in her relationship so she must show her relationship to the world like it's some big relationship news.



A straight white guy just came out in Nebraska and said he was a straight white guy.

Why is it that when all these dried up celebs have a new groove we have to have it in our face? So you're out. As the famous organization says, "move on". Better yet, I saw a close up of you MB. Get your love to rub on a lot of that skin care product girl!

Good for her. Some people spend their whole lives trying to figure out who they are, and some never do. She's one of the lucky ones, and I hope she's very happy.

Some people on this thread thing that being gay is all about sex...NEWS FLASH it's NOT. Being gay has just as much to do with gay sex as being straight has to do with straight sex!!!!! A sexual orientation is more than a physical attraction, but also a romantic attraction!!!!! a MENTAL connection!!!! (mind, soul, AND body)!!!!! Reducing a sexual orientation to just the sex oversimplifies things.

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