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Saffron Burrows Is Mad About — and Married to — Alison Balian

Saffron Burrows Is Mad About — and Married to — Alison Balian

Saffron Burrows Is Mad About — and Married to — Alison Balian

In a revealing interview, the actress divulges that she and the comedy writer married last year.

Actress Saffron Burrows has married longtime girlfriend Alison Balian, a writer for Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show, Burrows tells U.K. newspaper The Guardian in an interview that reveals more about her personal life than ever.

Burrows, who has had relationships with both men and women, married Balian in August 2013. They have been together for six and a half years and have a two-year-old son.

The actress, currently starring in the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle, declines to label herself but notes that she was brought up with an open mind — her ultraprogressive family would take her to gay pride events, antiracism marches, and so forth.

“When I started to have relationships, I didn’t think about what I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to feel, or who I wasn’t allowed to love, and consequently I’ve loved some really incredible men and some really incredible women,” she tells The Guardian. “There’s no coming out to do because I’ve always just followed my heart and I was lucky enough to have parents who didn’t impose any bigotry on me. So to come out would actually be an untruth because the men I’ve loved were very vivid, real, loving relationships. … So I’m with this woman now who’s extraordinary and that’s what we’re doing.”

She also says, “For people in general, I think they should name themselves in whatever way they wish. The flourishing of the gay movement in America is clearly very necessary and the identity that people could proudly lay claim to is crucial. Lives are lost every day because of bigotry in this country. So I think that should not prevail.”

“People shouldn’t have to make statements and their lives should be private if they want to be,” she adds. “But I think if someone’s feeling restricted by not making a statement, then they should be free to do so. I chose to speak to you because I don’t want to lie by omission and I want to be very straightforward about my life.” She says she is “really proud of my family and who they are, these two individuals beside me. … And for my boy, I want to be honest with him because he deserves it — but also proud. And I want us to live a very honest life with each other. I think for a while I was just avoiding conversations, in order to not be labelled in some way that I felt was limiting and not actually true to who I am. I really salute these young women who come out, but if I said I was gay that wouldn’t be true.”

She says she was inspired in part by actress Maria Bello’s New York Times essay in which Bello described how her best friend became her romantic partner. “I remember thinking first of all, that’s brave,” says Burrows, “and also, what she was saying was a little bit like what I’m saying. Not a big reveal of some kind, just, ‘This is what I am.’ It struck a chord. Sometimes, you think, ‘Oh I’ll do that later, I’ll be more open or more openly honest.’ And then you’re so busy not wanting to be defined that you don’t. And there’s a moment when you think, ‘Well when am I going to do that?’”

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Trudy Ring