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"I'm an unemployed librarian with a tendency to get knocked on the head."
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September 26 2011

Sean Maher reveals he is gay. The article discusses his struggles and choice to come out publicly.


Good for him. :)
Not really a surprise, but good for him. Honesty and self-respect are good things and I'm sure all of us here wish him and his little family much happiness.
I honestly had no idea. I knew he was in a committed relationship and had kids, but that's it.

Yay for Sean! I can't even imagine what a relief this must be for him.
Congratulations, Sean Maher, to you and to your family! I shall now have to watch The Playboy Club.
I'm excited for him. I hope this will be a wonderful thing for him and that people will accept him openly. xx
I knew he had a daughter (his tweets about her are adorable) but I didn't know he was gay. Good for him. =)
Is he in that? Damn. I've heard it's just awful. Seriously, just nothing good.
I knew this? It was a fairly well kept secret in the Firefly fandom. I want Sean on more shows, it's not an unreasonable thing to ask for.
I wish him nothing but joy and success!
I actually didn't know. I'm glad that life is getting better for him. :]
Like BrewBunny said, not really a surprise, but good for him!
I just figured he was, even if he didn't speak about it and yes, he was open about being in a committed relationship & having 2 kids. Good for him. I hope there are no repercussions.
*sigh* If only it was Nathan...
if NPH can pull it off, i'm sure Sean can.
I didn't know! How cool for him. But I'm also surprised that it took him this long to be open publicly. I suppose people like Ellen and NPH really are the brave outspoken ones.
NPH was outed against his wishes. He just handled it with so much class that sometimes people forget that.
I figured this before but good for him to feel comfortable speaking publicly about it.I'm not a fan of The Playboy Club but good luck to him.

Yeah NPH was outed and his publicists tried to put him back in the closet, but he refused IIRC.

[ edited by Heavs on 2011-09-26 18:01 ]
I always kinda hoped he was cuz he's such a cutie.

So happy for him.
Wow. I had no clue. Good for him.
Congratulations to Sean Maher. I'm glad he finally felt safe enough to be himself and I hope he receives the support and encouragement he deserves. He is a wonderful actor.

[ edited by Dorian's Kitten on 2011-09-26 18:11 ]
I'm happy for him :)
I actually understand him very well (the part of someone assuming you're straight and that you have a girlfriend, and you doing nothing to correct it. Or listening to gay jokes without saying anything).

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2011-09-26 18:26 ]
I had no idea, but I'm happy for him.
Glad for Sean and his family. This takes such courage.

And there are evil trolls in the comments section of the EW article. Bleah.
That takes a lot of strength, to do that on your own. And wow, nine years! Good name choices for the kids too :)
I hope he has much continued success.
@hann23 - aren't there always?
I thought he was gay, but I guess it was more hope than a sixth sense. Now where is his identical gay twin brother who is single and interested in me?

Also want Sean in more shows. He needs a regular part in something again. I thought it was so disappointing that he basically disappeared after Firefly.
Donnie, he's in Playboy (the show).
I'm so happy for him and his family.
NPH was outed against his wishes. He just handled it with so much class that sometimes people forget that.

I actually didn't know that, but I also know I was extremely late to the game on being aware of his sexuality. I'm glad Sean was outed in the way he wanted.
That's kinda fitting for his Playboy Club character, who we'll hopefully be seeing alot more of in the rest of the season.
Glad he has that off his rather sturdy and well built chest. Can't wait to see more of him on TV(maybe, dare I say, even film?!).
I'm glad all of my Simon Tam gaydar wasn't just hopeful fanboyish longings. Yay Sean.
I can't believe his former agent said "Maybe bisexual?" Would that really have "helped" in his profession? I thought bisexuals were treated even worse than gays, even to this day.
Happy for him! =)
Go Sean! And yay for all of us who were secretly hoping :)
Congrats Sean!
@Skytte: I don't think the agent meant "Come out as bisexual", since any non-hetero-ness could possibly negatively impact his career. I think the agent meant it in a "Well, don't close any doors, try to be bisexual, and that way, you can appear hetero."

Regardless, I'm glad he's comfortable enough now to come out. Had the hugest crush on Simon... I think I would have greased up like Kaylee to get his attention... and wow, did that come out sounding dirty (oh, stop... so many bad puns...)

But all the best to Sean and Paul and their family. :)

ETA: Jewel Staite's very tearful (happy!) response.

[ edited by wenxina on 2011-09-26 19:03 ]
Weirdly, my first thought was that both Simon and almost-Simon (NPH) are gay.
Speaking as Real Simon, good for him.
Good for you, Sean.
Congrats to Sean!
It must be such a relief. Feeling like you are lying about who you fundamentally are sucks big time. What bravery! Congratulations, Sean!
Simon has always been my favorite character. I was pretty sure Sean was gay, so I am thrilled he decided to free himself of such a fundemental emotional burden. YAY!
My first reaction was - whatever. But I mean that in the niceset possbile "so-what" way. I'm really glad that he felt able to do this - good for him.
I didn't really think about his sexual orientation but since I knew he was in a committed relationship with children, I had (wrongly) assumed his partner was female. I don't care one way or the other for myself but I've always liked Sean and I'm glad he feels comfortable enough to be open about it now.
Must have taken courage. I look forward to the day when being who you are takes no courage whatsoever.
I felt horrible for him when I read about his suffering & loneliness, but so glad he got the Coming Out Relief.

It's a toughie. Good for him.
I love it when people come out publicly.
It fills me big gay love and Harvey Milk-ish pride.
Does this mean that Zac Efron is gay?
Congrats, I'm so happy for him!! He's such a great actor I never knew. Maybe now I'll have to DVR The Playboy Club and just watch the scenes he's in.
To be perfectly honest I hadn't realized that he wasn't Out already.
I never guessed, shows he's a good actor :)

Happy to hear he can finally be himself and hope he has lots of success in the future.
Like many others, I can't say I care except that I'm very happy that he feels safe and comfortable enough to be open. And his family sounds adorable. Good on yer, Sean!
I don't mean to be crass, but what took so long? I always had the sense he was and loved him to bits whether he came out or not. It's a matter of comfortability, and I'm just happy he got to the place where he did it. Sean, please set up a coffee date with NPH if you haven't already. Lots of notes to compare on partners and kiddies and being an actor.
I don't mean to be crass, but what took so long?

Not to be flip, but the thought of potential professional suicide and social stigma might have been a bit of a disincentive for Sean. No matter how much we here may like him, there are still many, many people out there who hate gays and lesbians, just for being gays and lesbians.

Less than a week ago, a few douchebags in the audience at the Republican presidential debate booed an active-duty soldier in Iraq after the soldier said he was gay. Not one of the presidential contenders on stage had the decency to interrupt and remind the bozos that they were booing a guy who was risking his own life to protect theirs.

So if a gay soldier can't count on getting respect for his service to his country, is it unreasonable for a gay actor to worry that he may not be able to count on getting respect for his own professional acting abilities? Walking into a buzzsaw is a scary prospect, and while Ellen and NPH may have successfully threaded that needle, I think we'll need to see many more gay and lesbian actors do the same before we can really pat ourselves on the back and act like homophobia isn't something for actors to worry about.
What took so long?

Probably various circumstances we are not privy to. Coming out is a complex process even if you are not in the public eye.

[Edit: BrewBunny may have covered some of them while I was posting my point.]

Congratulations Sean, this takes a lot of courage!

[ edited by Vortigun on 2011-09-26 23:10 ]
It wasn't a serious question; I just tried to soften it so it wouldn't be taken the wrong way, which it was. I protested against the Phelps organization when they were in San Diego not too long ago, BB, so I'm aware of all the angles and didn't really need the lecture.
Think of all the thousands of actors in LA.

Now try to think of openly gay actors. It's a sad list.

Now try to think of openly gay actors who still get cast in leading roles.

It's a real issue in Hollywood.
I can't say I was surprised by the news but - honestly I had never really thought about it before. Because it matters so little to me really. But good for him for coming out and being who he is - that takes a lot of guts even in this post Ellen world. He is getting a LOT of love on Twitter btw - all supportive.
It's a real issue in Hollywood.

Yes - just in my mind, you know, it shouldn't be. I really should try to remember the tenor of what's going on in world politics but I suffer when I do. Gay folk, they cause all the natural disasters don't you know (:: shoots self between the eyes with a dart gun at the stupidity ::)
Tonya J, it's all there in the article.

BrewBunny, it was only like two people who booed.

Missmuffet, there's non-supportive love? :)
Tonya J, coming out is a deeply intimidating thing. It's not nearly so simple as you suggested in your comment. Please try to understand why that suggestion can aggravate people. It's not about you, personally. It's about the idea that someone didn't come out soon enough, which sort of implies it's easy. I'm not saying this to pile on or make you feel bad, or to accuse you of not being open minded. I believe you intended only support. It's nice that you protested against Phelps but that's neither here nor there in terms of understanding how daunting of an act this can be. It's as brave of him to come out now as ever, and while I'm sure your comment about "what took so long" isn't at all intended to undercut that courage it can sort of come across that way. Again, I believe you only meant support when you wrote it but your comments are coming across as rather tone deaf on how to express that support.
BrewBunny, it was only like two people who booed.

I think the larger point was that it was two, or a few, plus an entire stage full of national political candidates, not one of whom in that nationally-televised venue stopped for a moment to shame those two, or few. I don't mean this as a political comment, but to specify why this is part of the climate in which perhaps someone might not be ready yet to come out.
Does this mean that Zac Efron is gay?

I did think about making some joke to that effect. I thought about writing that Efron should come out but only after he will be an actor for 14 years.
But then that kind of depressed me. If Efron is gay (he's just an example here, I have no clue, I only know he's successful now) than he probably is closeted just like Sean Maher, and given that he is young and trying to get big leading roles he probably will stay closeted.
There are probably many young rising actors who hide themselves like that. I can't really blame them, but I wish they didn't feel like they need to do that. And I really wish I was right in thinking that they wouldn't be hurt professionally or personally by coming out.

I am very happy for Sean and his family. I'm sad he had to keep this secret for so long and I'm happy he decided to share it. I hope his career only benefits from this coming out.
I also hope the publicity from this somehow helps The Playboy Club's ratings. I liked the first episode, and I'm mostly intrigued by his storyline and how it will connect to the rest of the show.
The mere fact that he talks about how multiple managers told him to get a girl on his arm ASAP regardless of how he felt shows that this is still an unfortunately huge issue. There are only a handful of out gay actors in Hollywood who have or/achieve mainstream popularity right now. From all accounts he was living his life happily and openly on a personal level but don't underestimate what it takes to come out in a press release for public consumption.

I watched The Playboy Club last week and vowed it was to be the only time, despite Sean and Leah Rennee's interesting Mattachine Society side plot. I'll watch again this week now though.
Daylight - maybe only a few people who booed loudly but 7 candidates who met that disgusting behaviour with resounding silence. I can understand Bachmann - after all she gets $$ from their pray-the-gay-away business. But what about the rest?
Back on topic - congrats you are in that comfortable place, Sean.
Good for Sean! His sexuality has been a subject of discussion since back on the Universal Serenity site, but that makes it no less brave and admirable of him to come out in such a public way. It's a scary process, and it only gets scarier as you get older and the guilt of living a double life piles up. I hope that other actors follow his example.
Alan Tudyk just tweeted this:

Welp, it looks like I owe Fillion 20 bucks. My money was on Adam Balwin coming out first. Love you Sean!

Funny and sweet. :-)
Good for Sean Maher - very happy he has a spouse/partner and family and that he's found the comfort level within himself to say who he is an proceed with his life. I do think it's funny that Simon Tam and Mr. Universe are together on "The Playboy Club" :)
It would be great if this had no impact on his career. Unfortunately these things matter all too often. Wish it didn't.

Also unfortunately, it looks like we'll find out sooner rather than later, since PLAYBOY is so godawful (not Sean's fault) that I think it will be the first show cancelled this fall. I really wish him well and I would be delighted to see him in something of better quality very soon.
I kinda always assumed he is gay.

Congrats Sean Maher!
I'm happy for your coming out!
Good for him.
Welcome out, Sean. We're all very proud of you. Enjoy the fresh air.
Like many, I always thought he was already 'out' or whatever. Good for him either way, I say!
While it is never ok to boo anyone. I watched the entire debate, they booed because of the politicization of gays in the military not because HE WAS GAY.
Not to belabor a 'political' point, but I guess they also cheered putting 200+ inmates to death without assuming the state could have made a mistake and convicted an innocent man, and shouted out "let him die" when discussing a hypothetical 30-year old uninsured man in a coma because they were unwilling to acknowledge that particular right-to-life issue, merely as a means to demonstrate their disgust that these issues are just so 'politicized'. Yeah. And I'm sure that soldier putting his life on the line for his country also appreciated the subtlety of their response when he saw the youtube video later.

leaving the issue now to ensure blood pressure doesn't spike.

[ edited by baxter on 2011-09-27 02:21 ]
I don't know how the soldier's question was politicization? He simply asked if he would be able to continue serving honestly and as himself under the candidates' potential presidencies. Calling the ending of discrimination against a minority group a political issue is kind of ridiculous, really.
No, they booed the gay man in the military. They applauded the politicians who favor discriminating against gay men and lesbians in the military. That kind of demonization of difference is why perfectly good people feel they have to hide their love or lose their jobs. More power to Sean Maher for talking about the challenges they face and rising to them.
I'm very happy for him. He has always been of my favourite Firefly/Serenity actors. :)
When serving the military, no one cares if you are gay or straight. Its the mission that matters. No one would tolerate discrimination. That's what they were applauding, It becomes politicized when sexual orientation takes precedence over the military's purpose. Of course there are always bad apples but to say the entire audience applauded because they favor discrimination is intellectually dishonest. but anyway back to sean.
I hope everyone realizes that many qualified members of the armed forces were forced out of the military by the political policy of not allowing gay men and lesbians to openly serve. That was the politicization of sexual orientation in the military. It hurt the military but helped some people get elected.
please name the many.
Congrats to Sean and his family.

I read (Salon? Andrew Sullivan? Talking Points Memo? Can't remember, it was last week) that as soon as DADT was finally ended, a recruiter showed up at a Gay/Lesbian community center.
Never a better time to share my own story:
WheelsOJoy: more than 14,500 services members had been fired under DADT since 1993, they are now being invited to re-enlist. Here is a story that specifically mentions a couple of them, I'm sure if you really wanted to know then you could find the names of many many more. But I'm sure it is easier to block your ears, remain ignorant, and pretend it never happened.
I don't think I will name the (literally) thousands of soldiers discharged merely for being gay or lesbian, but here's a link to an article on the number from a single year. And I hope I don't have to explain why discharging thousands of qualified soldiers hurts the military's missions, most of which depend on, yes, soldiers to carry them out.

This is not information that is difficult to come by. Google "how many gay military members discharged."

It's senseless prejudice like this--self-destructive, self-defeating--that gay men and women combat by coming out.
Didnt I say back to sean If you want to discuss this email me at profile.
What disgusts me almost more than the DADT policy (and a big thank you to Admiral Mullen for his great comments about how unfair it was to make people live a lie) is the fact that so many soldiers were outed by their fellow soldiers.
In the end,” Mr. Ralls said, “we just don’t know what exactly led to these dismissals.
Oh, Wheels of Joy, really? You need that list for what? - to believe that what was the stated policy of the U.S. military, was in fact the stated policy of the U.S. military?:

that open homosexuality "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability."

Or you accept that it was the stated policy, but you don't believe it forced out many qualified members of the armed forces? And you think that one story of one person in 2008 - when DADT was on its way out - somehow obviates the stories of thousands kicked out since the beginning of the official policy in 1993 - and for decades before unstated?

I'm not sure why you included the second article - it was from someone who basically stated that DADT should not be repealed because of the potential housing "problem", and the fact that other heterosexual military personnel would therefore quit. It illustrated: what? The reasons of yet another person who thought DADT shouldn't be repealed? And, so? It's the default position of many, it hardly proves anything - except prejudice couched in reasonable-sounding tones.

I think it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that if there is an official policy that gays may not be out of the closet and serve, that gays who come out of the closet or are outed will in fact, not be allowed to serve, and will therefore be discharged.

In any case, thank you for providing such a superb example of what gays face when they want to come out of the closet.

ETF: typo

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2011-09-27 03:23 ]
And thank for respecting my wishes when I asked to speak about it by email but I'm sorry I forgot respect only goes one way....
Speaking of intellectual dishonesty, look at the context of that quote.

A spokesman for the legal group, Steve Ralls, said it had detected no increased effort to oust members under the policy last year. Mr. Ralls said that some bases reporting increases in discharges had few, if any, reports of unchecked harassment. It often boils down to the tolerance of individual commanders, he said.

We do know what policy let commanders so inclined force soldiers out of the military for being gay:

Those who volunteer the information have to be discharged. More than 11,000 members have been discharged for that reason, the legal group said.

didifallasleep, thank you for sharing your story. I'm so glad your life better now. Welcome home. : )
Ok, the DADT issue has been aired. Appreciate it if you get back to the topic of Sean Maher. Consider this a polite warning.
Wheels of Joy - sorry - it's not about respect. You can't possibly expect that you can stop discussion on the thread simply because you no longer wish to discuss it publicly.

It's your choice to keep reading the thread and responding.

Others are naturally free continue to discuss the topic here, which now includes your comments.

ETA: Sorry, SNT - I posted when you did. Done.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2011-09-27 03:37 ]
Good for Sean - no one should have to act in real life. But yay and all that...
Thanks, QG. G-d knows, these things need to be discussed. This isn't really the place, however.

Sean: my hat off to you, sir.
Thank you Sodding Nancy for intervening, I'm sorry that not everyone is listening.
I just glanced at the site without my glasses, and despite knowing full well what this thread was, I misread "gay" as "spy".
When I saw the article title, I was in shock. I had no idea he was on The Playboy Club! But seriously, congrats on coming out Mr. Maher.
Sean Maher would probably be an incredible spy as well.
Well technically, Sean was already kind of an awesome spy when he broke River out. ;)

But in other news, yay Sean. :D
The love he's getting from the Firefly cast is just killing me. Has there ever been a cast like this?? I love all of them.
And Sean truly is a Big Damn Hero.
The tweets between Sean and the Firefly cast today are seriously the sweetest things ever. I especially liked Alan's tweet. It had me lol-ing for a while. :)

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2011-09-27 04:48 ]
Yea, I am misty-eyed. I love you too Sean! <3 We all love you! It's a love fest! But only in the platonic way.
Congrats to Sean. I can only imagine what a huge relief it must be for him, for his partner and family. It was really hard to read about his struggle, but I'm now even more glad that Firefly came his way.
I am truly glad for Sean that he can be fully free to be who he is honestly, and with the support of his family. I can't imagine just how much of a struggle it was to keep it hidden to get even semi-steady work!
Aw, this kinda makes me misty-eyed.

I can't say I'm hugely surprised (my gaydar is a finely tuned instrument, if I do say so myself), but it's amazing that he has the courage and confidence in himself and his support system to publicly come out of the closet. I don't want to sound completely politicized, but it's small and individual brave acts like this that prod the progress of society to greater tolerance. Because coming out of the closet like Sean did right there is pretty much the definition of personal equals political.

Sean Maher, you are awesome.
Welcome outside the closet, Sean! :-)
My hope is that the courage Sean showed today, and the huge outpouring of affection and support for him, will bring us one step closer to a world where nobody needs to "come out" because nobody will have had to be "in" in the first place.

Sean, you truly are a Big Damn Hero!
I say that any gay actor who has played it straight simply proves their superiority at acting! How many straight actors refuse to go gay for a show/movie?

Also, I thought more of us knew about this? Clearly it wasn't the worst-kept secret of the fandom.

I presume we will be seeing more of him in MIOBI now that it has been renewed yes?
I was outed in college (against my will). It was not a pleasant experience, and I was just an A-level student, not a recognised actor. 25 years later now, I'm perfectly happy, but to have had the guts to do it voluntarily would have been beyond me.

Much, much love and support for Sean (BDH) and his family!
I am glad he is out and confident enough to make it public knowledge now. I am always sorry to hear the story of how such an important part of your existence ends up hidden from those who love you, sometimes in fear that they no longer will. This is not the case for him, but for others. All I wish for him is to enjoy life, love his partner and children, and go act up a storm.
Congratulations Sean ! It was kind of obvious to me, but the article is very touching.
Not a surprise to me. Glad he's finally out.

And Narky: Maybe in time, Nathan will, too!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2011-09-27 16:59 ]
And once again it is obvious to me that my Gaydar is VERY much not working!

The news took me totally by surprise, but I am very happy for Sean and his family that their love is strong enough for him to want to live with the truth. I can't imagine what it is like to have to live a lie like that and it makes me sad that we still live in a world that does not simply accept love no matter what.

I will also join in on the whole being happy and misty eyed when reading the tweets that got passed between the cast members. Never been more proud to call myself a Browncoat!
Most of the comments here have really helped me to remember why the Whedonverse, and especially its fandoms, was one of the first safe places I found it comfortable to just be myself and damn heteronormativity. Thanks for making me the GAY I am today, guys and gals, and all other gender expression or non thereof you may be preferred to be referenced as! I love ya'll.
Haven't read the article yet, but I always assumed he was. Very good for him for having the confidence to come out to the public!
That had best be a serious rather than a facetious comment, Wheels. Let's see what the Magic Eight Ball of Justice says...
Wow. I honestly hadn't ever thought about it before. I'm sure that took a lot of courage, and I'm really glad that he decided to come out. You rock, Sean!
Happy for Sean. Sad and angry that coming out is still so very difficult. Change is coming--just wish it would speed up.
Zeitgeist, of course I'm serious. Why did you think i was being facetious? I love all, even those I may not always agree with.
Let's go with, "years of experience at this".
I'm not sure what that means but my hope would be that you would think the best of people and take them at there word until they give you ample reason to think otherwise. If you didn't that would lead to rash judgement and that is never good. I have been on this board for years and have always been kind, loving and respectful to everyone and will continue to be. I hope I get the same in return.
That's exactly what that meant; well said. Feel free to email me if you want to talk more about it as we're drifting off topic :).
Glad Mr. Maher finally felt comfortable in coming out on his own!

(FWIW, I didn't exactly see that coming, but all the same, I'm not surprised.)
I don't know why, but this was not a surprise. It may have crossed my mind once, but there was no reason to assume one way or the other. Probably because he intended for there to be nothing to assume.

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