‘Family Ties’ Mom Meredith Baxter: Late Blooming Lesbian

December 2, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Actress Meredith Baxter, known for her role as the hippie mom Elyse Keaton, on the 1980s sitcom “Family Ties,” sat down with Matt Lauer this morning on the Today show and announced, “I am a lesbian.” At 62, and after three husbands and five children, Baxter admitted the realization that she was gay “was a later-in-life recognition.” She has been dating women for the past seven years and in the wake of being “outed” by the National Enquirer and gay blogger and serial “outer” Perez Hilton, Baxter decided to make her announcement about her sexual identity, using her own words.

Although Baxter has been living quite openly as a lesbian with her current girlfriend Nancy, a contractor, Baxter has not officially come out. She told her friends and family a few years ago.

Baxter told her oldest son, “I think I’m gay,” and he responded, ‘I knew.” “The support from my family and anyone close to me has been so immediate and unqualified. I’ve really been blessed,” said Baxter.

The former sitcom actress told Laurer that she often wondered why she couldn’t seem to succesfully maintain relationships with men. She thinks she purposely became involved with men that she clashed with, to make it easier to end relationships.

After an unexpexted relationship with a woman seven years ago, Baxter said it suddenly dawned on her that she was gay.“I got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with, and it was that kind of awakening,” she said. “I never fought it because it was like, oh, I understand why I had the issues I had early in life. I had a great deal of difficulty connecting with men in relationships.”

These days, Baxter still accepts acting jobs and promotes her own skin care line. But now she also has a new role as an advocate for gay rights.

“If anyone knows someone who’s gay or lesbian … they’re less likely to vote against them to take away their rights. I can be that lesbian you know now.”

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