Kristy McNichol’s Gay? Duh!

Kristy McNichol’s “revelation” that she is gay was about as much of a surprise as Amy Winehouse’s death at a young age. McNichol has always given off “the vibe.” The difference? Winehouse was actually culturally relevant at the time of her death whereas McNichol has not been culturally relevant since the ’90s when she was on Empty Nest. So while her intentions seem noble, one can’t help but wonder if her revelation will really make an impact. Most teens today are probably wondering–just who is this Kristy McNichol anyway?

Members of this writer’s generation remember her as “Buddy” on the TV series Family and as the girl who won the bet to lose her virginity (to Matt Dillon’s character) before summer’s end in Little Darlings. As for Family, it turns out that both the Lawrence sisters are gay: Meredith Baxter Birney, who portrayed Buddy’s older sister Nancy, came out a decade ago. And as for Little Darlings, Cynthia Nixon, who played “Sunshine” in the movie, is also a lesbian.

Family hasn’t been around for more than thirty years, and hindsight has given viewers the ability to see that it was prophetic in a way. Does anyone else remember the episode where Buddy’s friend and teacher was revealed to be a lesbian?

All the talk about McNichol, one of the iconic child stars of the late ’70s and early ’80s, makes one yearn for those days when everything was more innocent somehow. It was the era of Blue Lagoon and Liar’s Moon, of Happy Days and Welcome Back, Kotter. Next thing you know, John Travolta will come out of the closet. But wait. That rumor has been around for decades already.

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