Tatum O’Neal: I’m clean, aware and alive
Tatum O’Neal found it difficult to manage her attraction to other women when she first starting exploring her sexuality.
The 51-year-old actress was married to tennis player John McEnroe from 1986 to 1994, and the couple have three children together.
It was after the divorce that Tatum began exploring the other side of her sexuality, and started dating women.
While she struggled at first to manage her new approach to her love life, Tatum is now happier than ever dating members of the same sex.
“I went on my first date with a woman in the '90s,” she told America’s Harper’s Bazaar magazine. “I was in my 30s then and knew that I was interested in women, but I was a little uncomfortable with it—I just couldn't manage it.
“Now I've had a number of years of being present and clear, and that has changed everything in my life. It's changed my relationships with my children, my relationship with work, my relationships with people, my relationship with myself. Now I'm clean and aware and alive and interested in the world, saying, ‘Dating women is exciting to me, and this is turning me on.’ ”
Tatum still refuses to define her sexuality, and has only been in three relationships since she started dating women. But she insists the dalliances, whether casual or more serious, have helped shape her new outlook on life.
“Even though I've really dated only three women in my life, all of them have been important to me, and meaningful,” she said. “They've made me realise that I can be strong enough to pursue what I want without worrying about what people will think.”
One group of people Tatum didn’t have to worry about reacting badly was her children – Kevin, Sean and Emily.
The trio didn’t have “a second thought” about their mother’s revelation. Tatum is hoping that her decision to go public about her dating life will be something of an inspiration for her kids, especially her daughter.
“I want my daughter to have a world where her word is as valid and as meaningful and as important as any man's,” she concluded.
© Cover Media