the famous

Family Ties Mom Meredith Baxter Comes Out

Let’s be honest: It’s not terribly shocking to learn Meredith Baxter, who played mama Elyse Keaton on the 80s sitcom Family Ties, is gay.


The actress — who’s been married three times, has five kids, and says she realized she was gay seven years ago — came out this morning on Today after the National Enquirer, ever the beacon of journalism, published a sighting of her last month on a gay Caribbean Sweet cruise. Thereafter, a celebrity blog post pictured of her with her girlfriend.

And to Matt Lauer’s feet she ran — though girlfriend Nancy Locke didn’t come to the show. Because she’s still hoping to keep some level of privacy. Uh huh. (Nancy is already out.)

But now that she’s out? She’s gonna be your next civil rights hero! “This is a political act, even though that’s not what it feels like to me. 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.”

Welcome to the (public) team, Meredith.

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  • Scottie

    Good for her.

  • ggreen

    Meredith’s mother Whitney Blake played the first Wife/Mother with a career on early television. She played Dorothy Baxter on gay fave Hazel.

  • Brian NJ

    She looks so good.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    Go Meredith. She’s always been a favorite of mine. OMG – who can name their favorite LIFETIME movie she starred in??

    Mine is The Kissing Place – where she played a great psycho. Awesome flick.

  • GaryG

    By far my favorite is her spectacular turn as Betty Broderick in whatever the name of the Betty Broderick story is!! Congrats Meredith.

  • Peter

    There ARE celebrity spouses (if you want to call Nancy a spouse) who choose not to be in the limelight and conduct their business away from your prying eyes, David.

  • Anonymous

    You go girl!

  • terrwill

    > In a related story fellow 80’s sitcom star Kirk Cameron recently proclaimed ” I am an asshole”………..

  • romeo

    Bless her heart and best wishes to her.

  • Michael vdB

    You have my support Meredith. :)

  • Attmay

    What would we do, baby, without HER…


  • 1EqualityUSA

    She appears to be happy and relaxed. The weight of secrets can be exhausting. Thanks to both for being honest and speaking out for equality.

  • emb

    As another “late-bloomer” I can completely sympathize. Yay for MB! (And Yay for TERRWILL (No 9)– Brilliant!

  • Taylor Siluwé

    [email protected] (no 9) Terrwill

    I missed that press conference. But then again, it was exactly a news flash. LOL

  • Ray

    Good for her. And I appreciate the fact that she realizes the importance of her coming out politically. Sean Hayes could follow suit, maybe. That is, if he is gay.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Out of curiosity, how come some names above are in orange and some in black?

  • hardmannyc

    I always thought she was beautiful, and she’s still gorgeous. She doesn’t look like she’s had work done, either.

  • GeoffM

    I’m glad she came out, but it sure took a heckuva long time.

  • Mary Taylor

    good for her :) she looks great for her age too

  • FakeName

    The orange names are hyperlinks.

  • AlwaysGay

    Meredith joins a long list of gay people who played heterosexual parents on iconic TV shows including Robert Reed, Dick Sargent and Reginald VelJohnson. Welcome!

  • mm

    I’m actually feeling joy over this. Coming out stories, despite celebrity, are life affirming in many ways. I wish her the best.

  • Alexa

    I had such a crush on her when she was on Family Ties, so cool to see her come out.

  • Sebs

    realized she was gay 7 years ago??? c’mon!!!

  • Oh Boy

    OMG I love her and will always love Family Ties.

    And her best Lifetime movie ever is “BETTY BRODERICK – A WOMAN SCORNED!”

    Anybody who has not seen that it is a must see. It is based on the true story of a San Diego socialite whose husband dumps her for a younger woman and she goes BONKERS!

    “You and your whore Dan Broderick! DAN! DAN!”

  • writergabriel

    I wrote a novel about a woman coming out late-in-life called Seeking Sara Summers. For these women it isn’t about getting their 15 minutes of fame (a criticism I saw of Meredith Baxter on another site), it’s about getting a life. I think it takes a tremendous amount of courage to simply be who you are.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    I still want to know why some names are in orange and some in black. See for yourself. #25 and 326 are black and #27 is brownish orange. Does anybody know why? Weird. Random order.

  • Attmay

    Family Ties was one of my favorites as a kid. I ordered the DVDs of seasons 2-5 (I already had season 1) to honor her coming out, although she probably won’t benefit from it directly.

  • terrwill

    No. 28 · 1EqualityUSA: Those are links to the posters who wish to do so………click on the orange names and you will be linked to the poster.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    @ no. 26 OH Boy: Yes! I forgot about that one. Awesome flick!

  • hephaestion

    I loved her on the 1970’s TV drama series called “Family.” That was one of the best TV shows ever, and Kristy McNichol played Meredith Baxter’s little sister.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    @ no. 29

    : ATTMAY, that’s still a cool way to show love and support. The spike in sales of all things Meredith Baxter (Birney) won’t go unnoticed. Kudos.

  • Attmay

    @33 Taylor:

    I would have bought it anyway eventually; I was hesitant to because the studio that releases it is notorious for cutting almost all copyrighted music across the board in order to save money (what they did to “The Fugitive” TV series DVDs is criminal). Plus, Mallory’s boyfriend Nick was hawt.

    She’s not the only gay associated with the show. Johnny Mathis co-sang the theme song.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    To FakeName and Terrwill, Thanks for the hyperlink lesson. I feel like the missinglink. Learn something new everyday.

  • Paul

    My fave MB vehcle was one in which she plays a bulimic. There’s a scene in which she is in the kitchen cleaning up after a big party with lots of food. She is alone, and slowly starts eating a piece of this or that. Soon, however, she is rampantly gorging herself on anything and everything she can get her hands on, stuffing the food in her mouth like a crazy person. The scene ends when she collapses on the floor, pulling the table cloth and all the food down on top of her. Bravura performance. I’ve always liked her; now I LOVE her!

    Meredith, will you be my gay mommy?

  • Merlyn


    Many GLBT people come out later in life. Maybe they didn’t realise that they were gay until later in life. Maybe they were worried about their careers (a valid worry given all the homophobia in the world)–it is relatively safe to come out now, but it hasn’t always that way. Fifty or sixty years ago,if someone was honest about their sexuality, he or she risked being committed to a mental institution, I came out at 17 and stayed out, but not every GLBT feels that they can come out early in life. I can understand that since I have gotten a fair bit of flack for being honest about being a lesbian. I’m glad that she has come out. I have long been fond of her and her coming out has made even more fond of her.

    Anyhow, congratulations, Meredith and glad to know you are now in the light of freedom.

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