NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 21: Barry Manilow performs onstage during We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert Produced by NYC, Clive Davis, and Live Nation on August 21, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for Live Nation)

I am a fan of her and her music. I’ve met her, spoken with her, and watched her perform up close. She rocks!

She’s an activist and an environmentalist, and she’s been through some very difficult situations including surviving breast cancer and losing a child to opioid addiction. She’s tough!

In January 1993, Melissa Etheridge came out publicly as a lesbian. Coming out as LGBTQ doesn’t seem to be a big deal these days, but back in 1993, when Melissa came out, it was. In fact, Melissa was such a pioneer that many other super-famous but closeted celebrities asked her for advice about doing it themselves.

Melissa told The Daily Beast that Ricky Martin, Barry Manilow, Jodie Foster, and Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen came out on her sitcom in 1997) are some of the now-out gay stars who approached her. “I had people come to me and say, ‘I see you being out,’ and they would apologize to me because they were not out,” Melissa recalls. “I would say, ‘Look, it’s very personal. It’s totally up to you, you don’t have to explain anything to me.'”

 

Melissa recalls that Manilow was concerned about coming out because, he said, “all my fans are women.” Melissa said, “I was so glad when he came out.” She says Ricky Martin was worried because he was a sex symbol. She says she told him, “Dude, it’s obvious you’re gay.”

She also shared that “It’s been wonderful to see all these people finally come into themselves…the ones who come out do much better than the ones who don’t, or didn’t.”

Melissa also said that the TV show The L Word was based on her real-life group of friends in the late 80s to mid-90s, who at the time included everyone from Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts to k.d. lang and Rosie O’Donnell. Another member of the group was Ilene Chaiken, who went on to co-create the show.
Melissa also said that she, “stopped watching The L Word because I lived it!”

Check out a few of my favorite Melissa Etheridge songs…

  • "Like the Way I Do"

    This is one of my all-time faves

     

  • "Come to My Window"

  • "Ain't It Heavy"

  • "I'm the Only One"

  • "Bring Me Some Water"