Kristy McNichol comes out as a lesbian; Actress says she wants to 'be open about who I am'

mcnichol-nbc.jpgKristy McNichol, best know for her roles on the hit comedies " Family" and " Empty Nest," has come out publicly as a lesbian. She revealed the news to People magazine in an effort to help children who are being bullied.

McNichol's publicist Jeff Ballard tells People the one-time actress is "is very sad about kids being bullied. She hopes that coming out can help kids who need support. She would like to help others who feel different."

The 49-year-old McNichol, who twice won an Emmy for her work on "Family," has been with her partner Martie Allen, 49, for 20 years. McNichol says she wants to "be open about who I am."
 
McNichol has had a quiet life after leaving entertainment in 1998. According to Ballard "She is very happy and healthy and she enjoys living a very private life." 
Photo/Video credit: NBC
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