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15 May 14th, 2012 Joanna Johnson Comes Out Of The Closet as B&B’s First Same-Sex Couple Begins to Air!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

In an absolutely fabulous interview out this morning with TV Guide, Joanna Johnson (Karen Spencer) admits publicly that she is gay and reveals that details and emotions that led her to keep her sexual identify under wraps during her many years in daytime soaps.

As many know, this week on The Bold and the Beautiful viewers and members of the Spencer family will begin to find out that Karen is a lesbian, and she has partner, too.  Enter, Daytime Emmy winner, Crystal Chappell in her new role as Danielle.  Here are a few riveting excerpts below  from the feature!

Joanna on “officially” coming out,  making her the only performer in daytime to do so publicly:  “Daytime is a whole different world than primetime or theater or film. There’s a greater intimacy between the viewers and the characters. They think you are your character. And that creates a lot of fear. Fear of rejection. I was so worried I wouldn’t be employable as an actress if people knew I was a lesbian. Or that I wouldn’t be believable in romance stories. I had to deal with a lot of self-loathing.  After I started playing Karen, I remember doing a fantasy scene that showed what life would have been like if Caroline had not died of cancer. She was married to Ridge and had two kids and a wonderful life. When we finished shooting, I ran to my dressing room and just cried and cried because I knew I was never going to have that kind of life.  And now on B&B we’re finding out that Karen is married to this great lady Dani (Crystal Chappell) and together they have raised her daughter Caroline (Lindsey Godfrey)  So times have certainly changed. I guess that’s why I’m ready to open up. It feels weird and wrong to play this revelation about Karen’s life and not talk about my own.”
Joanna’s initial thoughts when she found out that B&B’s head honcho Brad Bell was going to make the character of Karen, gay.  “When Brad Bell called and pitched the story I was kind of thrown. I just said, “Oh.” And there was this very long pause. Then I said, “Where’d you get that idea?”  He laughed.  I laughed.  And I said, “Just make sure you get me a hot wife.” And he did!

Joanna on how her working  relationship is with Crystal Chappell:  “She’s straight and she’s more comfortable playing gay than I am! When we first met up at the show we had to shoot some photos — vacation-type snapshots of Karen and Dani to put on the mantel — and I felt kind of nervous and awkward. I think Crystal thought I was a little crazy but when I explained that I hadn’t yet come out publicly, she got it and has been very lovely and supportive. ”

So what do you think of Joanna Johnson publicly coming out?  Do you think more actors in show business should not be fearful of coming out as well?  Or, do you think it would change your perception of them when watching them portray their characters on television or in film?  Are you looking forward to Joanna and Crystal’s storyline kicking off this week on B&B?   Let us know your thoughts!

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  1. Margie Dalton says:

    Hopefully the world is more understanding. She is very brave! I was raised not to judge anyone.


  2. Michele says:

    That is awesome, and good for her!!!


  3. kelltwomyn says:

    Good for you, Joanna! I wish more performers would, or could, come out. They’d be so much happier and it would really help young people with their coming out.

    Didn’t Joanna luck up with Crystal as her acting partner??


  4. Blake says:

    Great news! So glad she came out. Wonderful interview. Read the whole interview on I have always liked her as Karen and never knew why she wasn’t on longer.


  5. Tricia says:

    Very proud of her. At the same time I feel a bit disheartened that she had to go through so much anguish. I think she will have a great friend in Crystal Chappell and I look forward to their storyline very much!


  6. kay killgore says:

    Ms. Johnson I knew that you were gay and it never even entered my mind to be concerned about it as I loved your portrayal of Caroline. I am sorry that you have felt this way I do not put much thought into actors personal lives none of my business I just am glad you are back on B&B as long as they don’t have you become involved with Steffy/Liam/Hope and their love life it will be a welcome change to get off that bandwagon!!!!


  7. Jessi says:

    first off… GOOD FOR HER! and 2nd… im so excited to see CC on my screen again :D


  8. Patrick says:

    Beautiful…. we pause, take it in… realize the truth, isn’t so bad after all… foward! March… focus on the economy… healthcare…. Jobs! so many other issues we collectively can deal with.


    Patrick replied

    2ndly… my perspective. Sharing “gay” storylines… is a part of our world. We’ve been a part of your world… from the beginning. It’s not a choice. I’m so taken with the Will and Grandma Marlena story… it’s so lovingly portrayed. this reminds me so much of my life… i was raised by my grandparents… and my grandma (Nonna) loved me unconditionally…. so, hence, i cry, cheer, laugh, recall, remember… the heartache… of going thru the coming out process… the bullying. it’s a startling revelation to command oneself to take control of who you are. Acceptance, for all “americans”, is security. I watched Crystal Chapelle, on guilding light… geez! she’s a fabulous actor… she portrayed one of the best “gay” stories, ever. Thank you B&B for sharing with the public… simply put, another one of us, mixed in with the people.


  9. PJ says:

    Happy for Joanna, and look forward to seeing her storyline with the wonderful Crystal Chappell on B&B.


  10. Sarah says:

    Joanna is SO GREAT! I can’t wait to see two of my favorite actresses together as a couple :)


  11. Michael says:

    Our straight male President has come out in favor of gay rights, taking a huge political risk. If he can take this kind of risk during a combative political climate, then gay people EVERYWHERE- sports stars, politicians, film stars, rock stars, policemen, firemen, teachers, and yes, soap stars- owe him one and need to come out of the damn closet already.


  12. Brian Greene says:

    Bless you, Joanna, for taking that extra step towards opening up the closet door a little wider.

    Big Congrats Go To You, Joanna!

    Brian :D


  13. Mo says:

    Read this yesterday in my TV Guide. Super surprised, but a bit saddened when she said she hoped B&B fans would still love her (for her to think that we wouldn’t). WE DO!!!!!


  14. Charles says:

    I am not happy with same sex marriage or same sex so called sexual relationships. Please write this story line off the show & let’s not go there.


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