Over the weekend, actress Maria Bello revealed in an op-ed in The New York Times that she is dating her longtime friend, Clare.
In the article, the 46-year old, who has appeared in several American films, including Coyote Ugly, Thank You for Smoking and The Jane Austen Book Club, reflected on her long and arduous journey toward living openly.
Bello previously dated TV executive Dan McDermott, with whom she has a 12-year-old son, for several years before breaking up in 2006. And in 2010, Bello ended her engagement to musician Bryn Mooser.
According to Bello, she struggled for years with her decision to come out.
"First, how would it affect my son? He trusted Clare. He loved her. He had never met most of the men I had been in love with and had no idea I had been with a woman as well. Second, how would it affect my career? I have never defined myself by whom I slept with, but I know others have and would…"
It was after a health scare this summer that Clare finally decided to tell her son that she was, in fact, romantically involved with a woman.
"Whomever I love, however I love them, whether they sleep in my bed or not, or whether I do homework with them or share a child with them, “love is love.” And I love our modern family."
Coming out is a difficult process, unique to each individual. Whether it's for the first time ever or for the first time today, coming out and living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person or a supportive ally is an act of bravery and authenticity.
Read Maria Bello’s op-ed in its entirety on The New York Times.