Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actress Saffron Burrows, 42, dropped two huge secrets during her interview with The Guardian. First, she secretly married her longtime girlfriend Alison Balian, a writer for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, 16 months ago. Also, she gave birth to their son, who is now 2.
“I chose to speak to you because I don’t want to lie by omission and I want to be very straightforward about my life,” the former British model said. “I don’t want to hesitate and feel hindered by something I haven’t said. Also, I’m really proud of my family and who they are, these two individuals beside me. That’s certainly my proudest achievement. And for my boy, I want to be honest with him because he deserves it – but also proud.”
During the interview, Hermione Hoby asked the actress what she thought about Ellen Page or Jodie Foster, who came out because of two different lines of thinking. One was that LGBT celebrities have a moral obligation to come out and another that pressuring celebrities to come out is unfair and intrusive.
“No, people shouldn’t have to make statements and their lives should be private if they want to be,” Burrows said. “But I think if someone’s feeling restricted by not making a statement, then they should be free to do so.”
She said that reading Maria Bello’s New York Times article about her relationship with a woman last December is what made her decide to talk about her personal life.
“I think for a while I was just avoiding conversations, in order to not be labeled in some way that I felt was limiting and not actually true to who I am,” Burrows said. “I really salute these young women who come out, but if I said I was gay that wouldn’t be true.”
Burrows was engaged to Broadway actor Alan Cumming (who married his boyfriend Grant Shaffer in 2007 in a civil ceremony) and dated director Mike Figgis after that.
“There’s no coming out to do because I’ve always just followed my heart and I was lucky enough to have parents who didn’t impose any bigotry on me,” Burrows said. “So to come out would actually be an untruth because the men I’ve loved were very vivid, real, loving relationships.”
For now, Burrows is extremely happy with her son and Balian.
“So I’m with this woman now who’s extraordinary and that’s what we’re doing,” she said.