Jillian Michaels says “the gay thing has always been hard for me,” wants to be “normal”

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Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels is on the cover of Health magazine this month but outside of the typical health and fitness questions, the writer asks, “Have you always been comfortable talking openly about being gay?” Here’s how Jillian answered:

“I don’t know that I am [comfortable talking about being gay] now, to be honest with you. The gay thing has always been hard for me. When Heidi and I are out and somebody older asks, ‘Are you sisters?’ I say, ‘We’re friends.’ I guess it comes from thinking that they will be shocked or disturbed. Look, I wish I had some strapping football player husband. It would be such a dream to be ‘normal’ like that, but I’m just not.

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Heidi is Jillian’s partner, mother to their son as well as their adopted daughter. While Jillian frequently discusses her family live on her regular podcast, it’s interesting that she would choose to play down if not outright shame her relationship in a national magazine promoting mental and physical health. This kind of damaging statement is very sad to hear, as Jillian has attempted to counsel so many other people who were not OK with who they were on shows like The Biggest Loser and Losing It.

When LGBT people, especially parents, act uncomfortable about something like their sexuality, it sends the signal that others should feel imperfect about things that are ingrained in them as well; things that make them who they are as individuals and part of a community. If Jillian Michaels isn’t happy with herself, then how can her children be? Or her clients be? What good does lying to strangers about who your partner is to you do for your self-identity?

Jillian has, in the past, seemed very uncomfortable with speaking about her sexuality, which is OK. Public people deserve private lives, too, and no one should ever be forced into coming out. But once she began to open up about her being “open to love with a man or a woman,” and later acknowledged that Heidi was, in fact, her life partner and part of her family with their two children, she seemed to be more comfortable with fans knowing she was still the same hard ass motivational speaker and trainer Jillian Michaels that they knew her to be. It’s likely that not many people lost respect for her when she came out, but these kinds of statements about “normalcy” and making her being gay sound like a curse is another story.

I suppose this is proof you can be as in shape as you hope to be in your body, but still lack the kind of self-acceptance needed to truly love yourself.

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