Some headlines are saying Maria Bello (Prisoners, ER, A History of Violence) has come out as “gay.” Others are saying she’s come out as bi. The essay, titled “Coming Out as a Modern Family,” is shaped around Bello’s decision to tell her son about her romantic relationship with a woman. But what she’s really doing in her op-ed is challenging the definition of family and partnership.
It’s hard for me even to define the term “partner.” For five years I considered my partner to be a friend then in his 70s, John Calley, with whom I talked daily. He was the one who picked me up each time I had a breakdown about another failed romance. Because we were platonic, did that make him any less of a partner?
And I have never understood the distinction of “primary” partner. Does that imply we have secondary and tertiary partners, too? Can my primary partner be my sister or child or best friend, or does it have to be someone I am having sex with? I have two friends who are sisters who have lived together for 15 years and raised a daughter. Are they not partners because they don’t have sex? And many married couples I know haven’t had sex for years. Are they any less partners?
Read the rest here.