Joanna Johnson, long-time star of “The Bold An The Beautiful” has announced that she is gay, and married to L.A. club promoter Michelle Agnew.
According to ABC News, the soap opera star stated:
“I was so worried I wouldn’t be employable as an actress if people knew I was a lesbian…or that I wouldn’t be believable in romance stories. I had to deal with a lot of self-loathing.”
The exclusive interview was given by TV Guide, who asked her what changed her mind about coming out to the public.
Joanna Johnson credited her character, Karen, for her decision to make her sexual orientation known. In a recent episode of the 25 year old soap opera, viewers discover that Karen is actually a lesbian, and is married to a wonderful woman, Dani, with a daughter. She told the magazine that:
“It feels weird and wrong to play this revelation about Karen’s life and not talk about my own.”
She went on to say that:
“When I realized I was gay in my early twenties we didn’t have role models like Ellen. I’m not anywhere near as famous as those ladies, but I guess it’s my turn to do my little part. It’s time to live a fully authentic life.”
Looking back on her life, Johnson states that she would tell her younger self:
“Have the courage to embrace who you are. Don’t project your own fears and low self-esteem onto others. Let your light shine!”
Huffington Post reports that the soap star used to hang out with Ellen DeGeneres, Melissa Etheridge and k.d. lang, but that she never felt pressure from them to come out. She said that:
“I think they understood my professional concerns because those concerns were very real. When Ellen came out she took a big hit. It certainly hurt her career as an actress…I really admire the courage of people who have been out and noisy. I had to struggle to become proud.”
Instead, Joanna Johnson believes she is still learning, but that, “I’m here. I’m queer. And I’m just getting used to it!”