That's true, but nobody's picking on the age difference. It's great that that's the only thing they could find to pick on us about.
I mean, I think on some level, the public prefers the truth. They don't like being lied to, even if the truth isn't so easy to take. Take Bill Clinton. He handled the Gennifer Flowers thing respectfully and got elected but when he lied about Monica, people really got mad.
Or Kevin Spacey. I don't think he owes it to anyone to come out of the closet, but if he's going to make a big deal about how straight he is and everyone knows otherwise, he looks like a fool.
[diplomatically] Well, all I have to say about that situation is that I don't know the man, but he's a very talented actor and his sexuality is none of my business.
[pause] Nice try.
[laughter] Poor guy. Being with Melissa gave me so much bravery. I didn't have to go through this alone.
Okay, I hope it doesn't sound like I'm implying that there was a mercenary motive to your hooking up with Melissa Etheridge, but you are dating one of the most famous lesbians right now, and that must have changed things for you.
Well, you tell me. All of a sudden the tabloids are talking about you, Tammy, and not the character you played on TV. Aren't things different for you?
Not as far as my fans go. I mean, this whole Melissa Etheridge thing is weird for me because in reality, I am so blessed with such a wonderful, incredible girlfriend. Then on the other hand, everyone is talking about it like I just made a career move and I'm like, "But it's so much more than that!" And that's hard to explain to people.
Also it's weird because I was never out before and none of my girlfriends were out. When I was closeted, it wasn't just hypocritical and un-PC, it was also killing me. I wasn't raised to lie. I hate lying. The whole thing drove me to go into therapy. But as awful as the closet was, it protected a vulnerable side of me, if that makes any sense.
I love women. And so to be with somebody who is comfortable with their sexuality -- because I'd never been with someone who was, I guess -- was wonderful. But then to turn around and have my relationship written about is such a shock. I mean, it's such a special side of myself and there it is for all the world to see and speculate on.
Especially since you have to contend with the memory of Anne Heche and Julie Cypher, who weren't "real lesbians," and there's this sense that the younger girl in a girl-girl relationship is faking it for publicity or money or something.