Maria Bello, the film and TV actress most recently in "Prisoners," took to the New York Times Modern Love column to explain that she is involved with a woman, Clare, who was her best friend first. The piece is mostly about breaking the news to her son, after avoiding it for a year, and about adding the nuances that make her relationship not simply about being gay (or bi.) Sample:
My feelings for Clare aren’t the same as the butterflies-in-the-stomach, angst-ridden love I have felt before; they are much deeper than that. As we grew closer, my desire for her grew stronger until, after a few months, I decided to share the truth of our relationship with my large, Italian-Polish, “traditional” Philadelphia family.
My father’s response came between puffs of his cigar while we sat on the roof of a casino in Atlantic City. “She’s a good girl, good for you,” he said. My mother and family echoed his sentiments. Maybe they weren’t so traditional after all.
My feelings about attachment and partnership have always been that they are fluid and evolving. Jack’s father, Dan, will always be my partner because we share Jack. Dan is the best father and the most wonderful man I’ve known. Just because our relationship is nonsexual doesn’t make him any less of a partner. We share the same core values, including putting our son first. My more recent ex, Bryn, remains my partner because we share our activism. And Clare will always be my partner because she is also my best friend.
This past summer I was very ill. At one point it looked as if I might not survive. But the people who were at my bedside every day at the hospital were many of my life partners: my mother, Jackson, Dan, my brother Chris and Clare.