Kristy McNichol – The actress, best-known for starring in the ABC drama Family and NBC’s Empty Nest, revealed that she has been living with her girlfriend Martie Allen, for the last two decades. Jeff Ballard, her publicist, said she has come out as lesbian to help kids who are bullied.
Until now, McNichol has enjoyed a private life with her partner, but the recent string of kids who go through bullying because of her sexual preference has made her step out and offer support.
However, the actress decided to reveal her sexuality because she is “approaching 50” and wants to “be open about who I am,” People magazine reported.
She “is very sad about kids being bullied,” Ballard told People. “She hopes that coming out can help kids who need support. She would like to help others who feel different.”
McNichol earlier in her career won an Emmy for her role as Buddy Lawrence in the 1970s television drama “Family,” and starred in several films before retiring from acting in 1992 to focus on her health.
A rash of gay and lesbian suicides in 2010 brought awareness to the issue and has prompted a number of well-known celebrities to step out of the closet.
“She is very happy and healthy,” Ballard told People. “And she enjoys living a very private life.”
Kristy McNichol is among several celebrities to speak out against bullying. Others include Lady Gaga, Shaquile O’Neal, Kristin Chenowith, Mario Lopez, Naya Rivera, Chaz Bono, Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones.