Jane Lynch may be one of the most recognizable out celebrities after she was catapulted into the mainstream aboard the SS Glee, but the 54-year-old actress says she never had a “coming out moment.”
“I’m an actor and when people started taking an interest in me, where they wanted to write about me, I didn’t say I wasn’t gay, so — I never had that,” she said in an interview on SiriusXM Progress. “And I have to give kudos to people like Melissa Etheridge and k.d lang and Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O’Donnell, all of those people who came before and at the height of their career, when they had a lot to lose, stood up and said this is who I am. And the world kind of went [gasps]…and then, nothing happened. That was really great and they kind of cleared a path for me to just stroll down.”
She’ll be appearing in a new CBS comedy series, Angel from Hell, in the fall, and is currently promoting the third season of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night. Lynch says she’s happy that other out celebrities like Zachary Quinto and Jesse Tyler Ferguson regularly appear on the show.
“There are still parts of the country where it’s hard, when you realize you’re gay, it’s like a death sentence,” she said. “And to give those kids some hope, I love that.”
Turning her attention to the infamous Hollywood closet, she said, “Everybody has their own way to deal with it. I don’t concern myself with other people’s — whether or not they want to come out, it’s not something for me think about.”
And yet there are many anecdotal stories of performers still being pressured not to come out. Asked what it says about the industry as a whole, Lynch said:
“I don’t know what it says. That says more about them than it does about anything, [or], I think, a meta statement to be made. Everybody has their own psychology, their own issues, their own subconscious material. For me to make a broad statement — it’s like outing people. I think that was a horrible thing. You might be dealing with a very fragile part of someone’s psyche. So I think everybody has to go their own path…That’s ridiculous, in this day and age, if somebody’s telling somebody not to [come out].”