Amanda Bearse

Residence: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Occupation: Television/film director and actress

At a glance:

Amanda is the director of the popular Logo television series "The Big Gay Sketch Show," which enjoyed a successful second season in 2008 ... Amanda became known to millions of television viewers as Amanda Cousins from the daytime drama "All My Children" ... Her biggest recurring role was on the Fox TV hit "Married...With Children" as Marcy D'Arcy from 1987 to 1997, a show that was wildly popular around the world ...
Amanda grew up in Florida and Georgia ... She came out publicly as a lesbian in 1993 on National Coming Out Day — the story was featured on the cover of The Advocate ... Amanda was the only openly gay actor on prime time TV at the time ... Her directing career took off after she came out, and she has directed episodes of many series including "Reba," "Dharma & Greg," "Veronica's Closet" and "Mad TV" ... She lives with her partner and their adopted daughter ... She was among the celebrity supporters of Gay Games IV in New York and joined the Gay Games Ambassadors prior to Gay Games VII in Chicago ... In addition to the Gay Games, Amanda energetically supports such groups as The Victory Fund, The Human Association and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Service Center, where she served as a member of the Board of Directors ...

Quotable: "The outing really was quite a freeing experience. I know that sounds sort of clichéd, but it really was very liberating. For a lot of people, it was just a confirmation of what they thought about me. I mean, I look like the girl next door, but I was always kind of off-center. You can't type what a lesbian is. We're anything and everything. The one thing in common is that we make love to other women. So give up trying to limit us. I don't have any shame around being homosexual, and it doesn't affect the way I do my job. There's been an enormous positive response from the gay community. I think the more commonplace we can make people being honest about their sexuality, the better off it will be for human rights and civil rights for everyone."