In November 2013, Bello wrote a column for the “Modern Love” section of The New York Times called “Coming Out as a Modern Family” about her family. For Bello, her “modern family” consists of her beloved son, a close friendship with her ex-husband and a romantic pairing with her long-time friend Claire Munn, whom Maria only realised she was in love with when she was 45 years old.
The column received thousands of comments, which prompted her to write a book called Whatever…Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves.
The book allows Bello to explore various aspects of her life. For example, each chapter starts with a question like “Am I a Catholic?” and “Am I LGBT or W?” – The “W” stands for “whatever”. It’s also a book about loving yourself and honouring the real relationships in your life, whether or not they fit the model of what family, friends or lovers are “supposed” to look like. Rejecting that nasty compulsory white-cis-heterosexism that tries to trap women – just find a man, and you’ll be OK.
I raised questions about the meaning of partnership, modern family, and the labels we all carry. I wrote about the people standing by my bedside when I was sick at the time.
They were all my partners in some way, whether I slept in the same bed with them, did homework with them or had a child with them. When I told my son that I had fallen in love with a woman [Clare Munn] who was like a godmother to him, he simply said to me, ‘Whatever, Mom…Love is love’. That statement opened up a door to a larger conversation about how many of the labels we use today are outdated.”
In a recent interview with on GLAAD: All Access, hosted Claire Pires, actress Maria Bello opened up about her new book. Watch the interview here: