With the words "I am a gay woman", progressive radio host and comedienne Stephanie Miller publicly came out lesbian on her radio show, Friday. Explaining that she has been out to friends, family, and co-workers for years, Miller said that she had recently reached her personal “tipping point” in coming out to her listeners, given the number and importance of gay-related issues currently in the public eye. She had grown concerned about her ability to speak on issues such as DOMA, DADT, and Prop 8 “authentically”, without also sharing this part of her life.

Opening up about her personal experience, Miller said it had taken her fifteen years to come out to family and friends. She also stated that she has been attracted to men, and even in love with them. But she has grown to “feel more comfortable in a relationship with women”. She expressed concern that some on the Right may try to cite her experience to promote the idea that sexual orientation is a choice. But she rejected that idea strongly, stating that in the “continuum” of sexual orientation, many people are simply born gay or bi, just as others are born straight.

Miller credited openly-lesbian country singer Chely Wright, with whom she has become good friends in recent months, with inspiring her to come out publicly. She said that it was discussions with Wright which convinced her that when it comes to being gay, “It’s different to be ‘for that’ than to say ‘you are that’.”

Miller – affectionately called “Mama” by many of her listeners – has always been vocally and enthusiastically pro-gay, both on her show and in public appearances. In fact, she served as grand marshal of West LA’s Pride Parade in 2008.

After Friday’s announcement, much of Miller's show was taken up with supportive calls from well-wishers – including Chely Wright herself – as well as tweets and e-mails from some of Miller's friends, including Cassandra Peterson (television's Elvira) and fellow progressive radio host Randi Rhodes.

The Stephanie Miller Show airs 6 - 9 AM Pacific Time (9 AM - 12 Noon Eastern Time), M-F on radio stations across the United States, and can also be heard online at StephanieMiller.com.