Rosie O’Donnell made national news when she came out publicly in 2002, but it turns out she had planned to do it ten years earlier.
The talk show host/Harriet The Spy actress spoke with Marlo Thomas about how the landscape has changed for gays and lesbians over the past few decades, and shared this story from the early ’90s of coming out in an interview she gave to Cosmopolitan:
“At that time, nobody printed it. I remember [Editor-in-Chief] Helen Gurley Brown took it out of an interview that [a reporter] had done with me in, like, 1992. He said, ‘Are you gay?’ and I said, ‘Yes.’ She took it out … She was protecting me because at that time it would’ve been a huge issue, right? So, I think it’s changed a lot. I think it’s much more common and people are much more used to it. Being a part of a gay family was not nearly as troubling to my kids as being part of a famous family.”
Was Brown justified in trying to protect the star’s career? Should Rosie have spoken out years ago against being silenced?