Jillian Michaels is used to ruffling the feathers of her trainees on The Biggest Loser, but not those of the gay community.
During her Health magazine cover story, the former trainer had discussed her struggle with coming out, and she said her comments had been misunderstood.
In the interview, Michaels said, “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.”
Fans and the LGBT community were unhappy about her comments. In a statement with People, Michaels tried to clear the air.
“I am deeply disheartened and sorry to hear that members of the gay community have misunderstood the points I was trying to make about being ‘out.’ I attempted to shed light on how hard and scary it can be to be out. That gay families get attacked and even small daily interactions involve others being ‘shocked and disturbed’ by the gay lifestyle. I was saying if along the way in my life that had been a choice I would have made it, but it’s not who I am. Gay is not a choice. If I was ashamed of who I am, I would be in the closet. Considering my family was on the cover of People magazine, I think I’m pretty far from that.”
Michaels and her partner Heidi Rhoades have two children together. Rhoades gave birth to Phoenix Michaels Rhoades in 2012 and they adopted Lukensia Michaels Rhoades the same year.