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Meredith Baxter Birney: “I'm a lesbian”

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At age 62, after three marriages and five children, Meredith Baxter is making public the fact that she is a lesbian. The beloved television mom Elise Keaton from “Family Ties” and the former wife of her “Bridget Loves Bernie” co-star David Birney appeared on the Today show this morning, speaking with Matt Lauer about her late-in-life discovery. People magazine is also reporting the story this week.

While she has been dating women for seven years and has been with her partner, building contractor Nancy Locke, for four years, only now is Baxter discussing her sexual orientation publicly.

“Some people would say, well, you’re living a lie and, you know, the truth is — not at all,” she told Lauer. “This has only been for the past seven years.”

And the admission might not have come now except for a National Enquirer story reporting that Baxter and Locke took a Caribbean cruise sponsored by a lesbian travel company last month. They knew the possibility existed that they would be outed, but they took the trip anyway.

“I don’t want to be worried all the time,” she said. “I knew I was pushing it.”

From the Today story:

“Baxter says that her relationship with men was complicated, and it took her decades to understand why.

“In 1966 she married her first husband, Robert Lewis Bush, and they divorced five years later; she married her second husband, David Birney, in 1974, and they divorced in 1989; she married her third husband, Michael Blodgett, in 1995, and they divorced in 2000.

“She explained that she deliberately chose to be with men with whom she clashed, so that she could blame them for the end of the relationship. “It never occurred to me to think, oh, [the problem is] me,” she said.

“Then, seven years ago, she had a relationship with a woman and concluded that she was homosexual. Suddenly, things seemed to make sense.

“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.”

Add a Comment52 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Do we have some angry lesbians here OR WHAT?!!!!!!!

Go ahead all you guys who want to have fantasies about Meredith. I don't mind. You can't control what people fantasize about! So let it go. Have fun out there!

March 1, 2011 - 11:29am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

What does being a lesbian have to do with the fact that for decades she banked on men fantasizing over her?
Then when she's long in the tooth and not the fodder of fantasy, she suddenly discovers her lesbianismishness. Hey, what do I know? Meh.

April 11, 2017 - 2:01am

Great point Meredith.!
We really can't let "negative energys", from those who ,need to get thier own life.....instead of ....wasting other peoples. :)

Especially,those, who comment, just to annoy, preach hate, etc........while hiding behind "annonymous" postings. LOL!!

January 23, 2011 - 11:56am
EmpowHER Guest

Who cares?

June 21, 2010 - 4:16am
EmpowHER Guest

Why do men and women wait till they are wrinkled and old to become something they were not previously. You Know. He-shes, trannys and here, Miz Baxter Bernie. I had to listen to this pucker lipped woman announce her three names proudly on every stinking commercial and now she has dropped them and come out. Come out to what? To tell us her preference for sex now! Who cares.
It's a preference and that is all.....Not a Right! In her case just a promotional preference. Obviously she has chosen to quit announcing the middle name of her partner with the appendage of the fore. If I was to have a pure hardcore Gay Preference towards sex (which does not define a family). I would be offended by her using her Preference to promote herself. People like her act genuine when in fact they are disingenuious by using political means to promote themselves. She is probably a lame sex partner anyway and would not shut up long enough to pleasure a partner anyway. No matter the preference.

May 28, 2010 - 3:24am
EmpowHER Guest

Smart turn lesbo when men no longer want you.

May 22, 2010 - 11:05am
(reply to Anonymous)

Is that what you did??? Senseless, remark,from an obvious ,miserable...."


January 23, 2011 - 12:06pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Is that what you did??? Senseless, remark,from an obvious ,miserable...."


January 23, 2011 - 12:06pm
HERWriter Guide

These are all very interesting comments. To Anon who says "So What?", I think the reason they make a statement is because they have been told their whole lives to keep their homosexuality a secret.

Hollywood is filled to the gills with gay people, many of them bona fide A list movie stars. Artistic endeavors like stage and screen acting have always attracted a large gay following. If you have ever worked on stage, you will notice that a large percentage of your co-workers are gay. But those who choose screen acting are told right from the start to keep the sexual orientation under cover and to always "act straight". They are seen with multiple Hollywood "beauties". They know if they come out, their leading man or woman status is gone. They will be relegated to the "gay best friend" a la Rupert Everett, Mario Cantone and Willie Garson, or the "wacky gay neighbor" like Sean Hayes. It's changing....but very slowly!

Many chose fame and money over being real about their private lives but either way, they pay a price.

And I hadn't thought about the three broken marriages and kids. One broken marriage is enough. To do it over and over, knowing one is gay, is indeed irresponsible, in my book.

April 24, 2010 - 5:13am
EmpowHER Guest

I'm with the person who says, "So what?" Why, honestly, am I supposed to care? She's older than my mother, not exactly fantasy fodder so I'm not losing anything here, and no one, anywhere, should care what someone else's orientation is.

I think the real issue here is, why do former actors, musicians and other people of dubious or faded celebrity feel the need to tell us? Ricky Martin? Who cares if he is gay? Meredith Baxter whatever? Nope, don't care about her either.

April 23, 2010 - 4:07pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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