Film | Howard Bragman | Meredith Baxter | Outfest

Meredith Baxter Discusses Her Public Coming Out At Outfest

Meredith Baxter, who came out as a lesbian last December, participated in a panel discussion I attended yesterday at Outfest yesterday that focused on coming out in Hollywood. She was joined by several other openly gay creative types working in Hollywood as well as publicist Howard Bragman, who famously orchestrated coming outs by Chely Wright and Baxter. When asked about how should would tell the world that she is gay, Baxtyer joked to the audience, “I thought I might put an ad in the paper, kind of like a little birth announcement that would say, 'OK, I'm gay – Meredith.'”

Mb She also explained how Bragman handled her public coming out and how overwhelmed she was by all of the media attention:

"When it became apparent that this was not in my control any longer I was put in touch with the lovely Howard Bragman and he sort of put things into motion in ways that I thought was way over the article in...People Magazine....followed by on air with Matt Lauer saying to national television 'hello im a lesbian!'"

Baxter added, "It was not in my plan but I will say that an enormous amount of relief followed that. I didn't expect it. I didn't know to look for that. I didn't know to want that. But now the feeling is 'Fuck it. Everyone knows. I don't have to worry about anything.'"

When asked if she was still pursuing acting roles, Baxter said that she was indeed. "Certainly I am. It's just been a long, slow period. It was tough before I came out. It just hasn't gotten better." She then turned to Bragman and said, "as someone had actually predicted it would be..."

Speaking of Outfest: Sasha, a German film about a teen boy who struggles to come out to his immigrant Montengrin family, is a gem of a film, and I'm not just saying that because my parents came from that country as well. It's touching, sweet, awkwardly funny and totally worth a peek.

(photos via Greg in Hollywood)

Finally, the big winners at Outfest were announced earlier this afternoon. The full list is AFTER THE JUMP.

Grand Jury Awards
US Narrative Feature:  “A Marine Story,” Ned Farr
International Feature:  “The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister,” James Kent
Documentary Feature:  “Strange Powers:  Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields,” Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara
Narrative Short Film:  “Samaratin,” Magnus Mork
Documentary Short Film:  “Close (Pod Bluzka),” Lucia Von Horn Pagano
Screenwriting:  Douglas Langway and Lawrence Ferber, “Bearcity”
Actor in a Feature Film:  Stephen Guarino, “Bearcity”
Actress in a Feature Film:  Dreya Weber, “A Marine Story”

Audience Awards
First Narrative Feature:  “The Four-Faced Liar,”  Jacob Chase
Narrative Feature:  “A Marine Story,” Ned Farr
Documentary Feature:  “Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight,” Michelle Lawler
Narrative Short Film:  “You Move Me,” Gina Hirsch
Documentary Short Film:  “I’m Just Anneke,” Jonathan Skurnik

Special Programming Awards
Freedom Award:  “The Topp Twins:  Untouchable Girls,”  Leanne Pooley
Outstanding Emerging Talent: Drew Droege, "Go Go Reject," "Fagney and Gaycey"
Outstanding Artistic Achievement: "Undertow (Contracorriente)," Javier Fuentes-Leon

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  1. Does anyone really care about Outfest anymore? Gay films have been in a rut for such a long time, especially the ones showcased at these Gay and lesbian film festivals. They make you run back to your TV sets for some solid portrayals of gays and lesbians!

    Posted by: Andy Hofler | Jul 18, 2010 8:45:36 PM

  2. I sure as hell care. There were several excellent films this year, including "Howl" and "Undertow." Plus a number of very entertaining ones.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 18, 2010 10:53:20 PM

  3. It may be my age, but I have always ~loved~ Meredith Baxter. Famiy Ties was one of my favorite shows.

    I am glad that she has finally let it Out.

    Posted by: BGH | Jul 18, 2010 11:18:31 PM

  4. I only offer this as a challenge, not necessarily as a 'good idea' as I think choosing people for a task based on orientation can be limiting- yet what if someone produced a film with ONLY a lesbian/gay cast and staff? There are SO many in Hollywood and beyond that allegedly have a rough time finding work after coming out, it might be an interesting project.

    Posted by: pickles | Jul 19, 2010 1:34:48 PM

  5. I do care too about Outfest, as I am a member, but I do agree that there is a serious rut in US Gay Films for the past several years. Two recent Outfest examples "Is It Just Me" and "Role/Play" were just appalling and unbearable to watch. But foreign gay films are still 100% better; they are original, smart, great production values (even on low budgets guys!!), well written, good actors (professional an non-professional). Granted, they are well funded by their governments, various funds, etc. I think that needs to happen here too.

    Posted by: Paul | Jul 19, 2010 3:21:37 PM

  6. Seconding Steve Pep's plug for "Sasha." It looks like Strand Releasing picked up for distribution, so I'm hoping more Americans will get to see it. A terrific film.

    Outfest was actually pretty good this year. I agree with David in his raves for "Undertow" especially, a bit more mildly with "Howl" (I loved it, but know a great many who didn't get what they expected from it). "Bear City" was a lot of fun. There were also some terrific shorts: "Gayby," "Go Go Reject," "Curious Thing," and the screamingly funny "" On the lesbian side of things, "The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls" was fantastic, and I'd give a reserved rave (I enjoyed it, but didn't ***love*** it) to the big award winner "A Marine Story."

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Jul 19, 2010 4:00:35 PM

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