Jillian Michaels, I had a hard time with the gay thing, too

Jennie McNulty columnBY JENNIE MCNULTY

Well, I can see why Jillian Michaels says she feels uncomfortable talking about being “out.” She doesn’t do it very well. But, maybe we should get off her back, unless you’re there adding weight for her push ups.

Apparently, in an interview for Health magazine she said, “…The gay thing has always been hard for me. When Heidi (her partner) and I are out, and somebody older asks, ‘are we sisters?’ I say, ‘we’re friends.’ I guess it comes from thinking that they will be shocked or disturbed. Look I wish I had some strapping football player husband. It would be such a dream to be normal like that, but I’m just not.”

Before you jump on MY back for defending her (I have a hard enough time doing push ups), let me point something out, clearly, she does have a hard time about “the gay thing.” And, I don’t think it’s just talking about it that’s difficult for her.

Look at what she’s conveying in just one short paragraph: She’s concerned what some random older person might think about her sexuality and that maybe it would be better somehow to be straight. But she’s still out! Clearly, it was a bad choice of words. Had she said “average” we might not have cared. Because we ARE normal. But, if we’re only 10 percent of the population (or 20 or whatever) we’re not average. Calm down, we’re above average! Relax and read on.

I think she was just trying to say it’s difficult but it’s not a choice. She is who she is. And, at least, SHE’S OUT. If she’s got internalized homophobia that’s still bugging her but she’s still out, more kudos to her.

My own homophobia kept me in the closet forever. And, when I finally did come out, I was out to everyone and didn’t care what people thought. But, it took me a LONG time. Part of the reason it took me so long was I didn’t see others like me. And, while my washboard abs have way more laundry on them than do hers, I would have loved to have had an example like that. A strong, sexy woman who’s gay and out. Saying that she is who she is and it’s not a choice.

There are a lot of celebrities who are afraid to be out. They don’t say we’re not normal because they don’t say anything at all. And, isn’t that worse? Admitting that it can be difficult sometimes because we are not like “everybody” else but we are who we are seems OK to me. We’re here. We’re queer. And, sometimes we say stupid shit.

I don’t know Jillian Michaels. I’ve never watched her show and I probably wouldn’t even recognize her if I saw her in the street (unless she was doing push ups with you on her back). So I’m not jumping to the defense of a friend or favorite. But, I think someone in a business that literally rates what the public thinks of you and who worries what some old fart might think of her about being gay and still comes out deserves a few points for that.

She should not, however, apply for our official gay spokesperson job.

And, I would also like to point out that I am a strapping football player, hint hint. OK, I’m totally kidding, I’m not strapping and she’s not my type, but if Julie Bowen ever talks about wanting a moderately muscled football player with bad knees, let me know.

Jennie McNulty was named one of Curve magazine’s Top 10 lesbian comedians. She can be heard weekly as co-host of LA Talk Radio‘s “Cathy Is In: The Cathy DeBuono Show.”

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