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Meredith Baxter on coming out

Actress and author Meredith Baxter

Even though actress Meredith Baxter has spent much of her professional career in the spotlight, she has never been one to want to share her entire life in public. After coming out as a lesbian, however, she realized it was time to open up and tell her story. She reads from her new memoir, “Untied,” Oct. 28 at Outwrite.

For much of the ’70s and ‘80s, Baxter was known as a TV mom in popular television series such as “Family” and “Family Ties.” What viewers didn’t realize was that behind the sunny façade she was dealing with secrets – an abusive relationship with husband David Birney, alcoholism, breast cancer, and the realization late in life that she was attracted to women.

Although Baxter had gone to the Dinah, the lesbian event in California, she was barely recognized there. Yet when she boarded the Sweet Caribbean Cruise – a lesbian cruise – with her partner a few years ago to film a series, it was a different situation. Baxter got recognized, a lot. She had the feeling her appearance on the cruise would make news and knew she had to do something proactive, although it was not something she was planning on doing.