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Lily Tomlin’s very long engagement

We still have so, so far to go in this country toward LGBT tolerance and equality. But it's incredible to consider how far we've come. Not just in the past few months. In the span of just one person's lifetime, she has gone from coyly deflecting questions about why she isn't married to talking hopefully about tying the knot – with the woman she's been with for over four decades.

Fans who recall her earlier career know that actress and comic pioneer Lily Tomlin spent much of it circumspect about her sexuality. Sure, she openly acknowledged her collaborator Jane Wagner; she narrated the documentary "The Celluloid Closet" in 1995. But last year, Michael Musto said that Armistead Maupin, who wrote the narration for the film, had been displeased with "the absurdity of having a closeted person like her narrate" it. Tomlin didn't officially come out until a 2000 interview with New York City cable-access TV program Gay USA. Back then, she explained, "I'm not going to make a big national case of it which is what, really, everybody would like to do, or some people. But in most articles, most people refer to Jane as my partner or my life-partner or whatever ... We've been around so long and been through so much and I always kind of took a lot of stuff for granted. I also never wanted to be anybody's spokesperson or poster person. You know, I see what happens to too many people." A year earlier, she told Denver's Out Front, "I never officially came out in any kind of really public way. I just always lived very simply and openly, but the press has never made a big fuss about me or said anything to me."

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