Maria Bello, best known for her roles in Coyote Ugly, A History of Violence and most recently, Prisoners co-starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, penned an op-ed in The New York Times in which she comes out as bisexual and matriarch of a “modern family.”
Bello describes how she explained to her young son Jack how she had become romantically involved with her best friend, Clare, someone who was also “like a godmother” to him. Though she had been in relationships with men before, her feelings for Clare proved deeper than the previous times she had fallen in love:
We had an immediate connection but didn’t think of it as romantic or sexual. She was one of the most beautiful, charming, brilliant and funny people I had ever met, but it didn’t occur to me, until that soul-searching moment in my garden, that we could perhaps choose to love each other romantically.
What had I been waiting for all of these years? She is the person I like being with the most, the one with whom I am most myself.
The next time I saw her, in New York, I shared my confusing feelings, and we began the long, painful, wonderful process of trying to figure out what our relationship was supposed to be.
Bello’s “large, Italian-Polish, ‘traditional’ Philadelphia family” surprised her with their acceptance, including her cigar-smoking father, whom she told of her new relationship on the roof of a casino in Atlantic City. Between puffs of his cigar, she recalled, he said: “She’s a good girl, good for you.”
And as for Jack, how did he take it? Bello writes that after she told him, Jack simply smiled and said, “Mom, love is love, whatever you are.”Kids today.
Now, they’ve all become one big, happy, modern family with Maria, Clare, Jack and Jack’s birth father Dan making it work to the best of their abilities. Bello concludes, then, that maybe a modern family is really “just a more honest family.”