In high school, [Gillian Anderson] was voted “Most Bizarre” and “Most Likely to Be Arrested.” Both descriptions, says Anderson, contained a kernel of truth, “based on how I chose to look, dress, behave, you know—the relationships I was in at the time were freaking people out.” Invited to elaborate, she begins to list them: “I was in a relationship with a girl for a long time when I was in high school, and then I was in a relationship with a punk rock drug addict who…”
Wait, a lesbian relationship? “Yeah, yeah, well it’s… You know, I’m old enough that I can talk about that,” she says, before resuming her list: “And then I was in a relationship with somebody who was way, way older than me. Everything that that kind of anarchistic attitude brings—the inappropriate behavior it leads to—was how I chose to be in the world at that time, which was, you know, not what people did…” Understandably, she is wary of making a big deal of it, precisely because it is a big deal for so many people. “If I had thought I was 100% gay, would it have been a different experience for me?” she wonders. “Would it have been a bigger deal if shame had been attached to it and all those things that become huge life-altering issues for youngsters in that situation? It’s possible that my attitude around it came, on some level, from knowing that I still liked boys…” Anderson says she has had relationships with other women, but they have been the exception, not the rule.
The admission is sure to thrill Anderson’s strong lesbian fan base, who have stayed devoted to the actress since her stint on the X Files. However, Hicklin asserts that “it’s clear that Anderson doesn’t want to make more of her admission than it warrants,” while still acknowledging that “it goes to the heart of the instincts that animate her life.” Well, yes — love does appear relatively low on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, even if it’s with a woman or a “punk rock drug addict.”
What’s your reaction, readers? Does this make you like Anderson more — or is it annoying that she’d try to downplay what amounts to her own coming-out in an interview with a gay magazine? Time to sound off in the comments!