In 2013, Maria Bello penned an essay for The New York Times titled “Coming Out as a Modern Family.” The actor detailed how a conversation with her son Jackson Blue McDermott, who was 12-years-old at the time, changed her outlook on love. She shared her story with Clare Munn, her close friend. “I didn’t think of it as romantic or sexual,” Bello wrote. “She was one of the most beautiful, charming, brilliant, and funny people I had ever met, but it didn’t occur to me that we could perhaps choose to love each other romantically,” Bello actor wrote.
Bello was able to realize her feelings about Munn through this conversation. “I had become involved with a woman who was my best friend,” She recalled this in the Times article. Bello’s view of romantic relationships changed after this incident. “I would like to consider myself a ‘whatever,’ … Whomever I love, however I love them,” She wrote. A couple of years later, she wrote a memoir about the experience, “Whatever…Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves.”
Bello would define her sexual identity as “W” in the book, which stood for “Whatever.” Her main focus was not defining herself but helping others embrace openness. “I felt like it was my responsibility to continue that conversation,” she told the Advocate in 2015. “Give me any label you want to help advance human rights,” Bell agreed. Bell fell in love with a woman passionate about women’s issues.