• "Firefly" actor Sean Maher with his late father, Joseph. Photo courtesy of Sean Maher

Openly Gay ‘Firefly’ Actor Sean Maher, a Metro Detroiter, Honors Late Father By Raising Money for Alzheimer’s Association

By |2021-05-05T14:40:34-04:00May 5th, 2021|Michigan, News|

“Firefly” and “Playboy Club” star Sean Maher is serving as co-chair for the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter’s 2021 Spring Soirée at Neiman Marcus in the Somerset Collection in Troy. The event, which is in its 10th year and takes place today through Sunday, May 9, has so far raised over $300,000. The openly gay Metro Detroit-based actor will be at the mall today until 7 p.m. There will be prizes auctioned off, including two 45-minute Zoom calls with Maher and “Firefly” co-star Jewel State.

Alzheimer’s is a cause close to the actor’s heart as he lost his father, Joseph, to the disease last year.

“Alzheimer’s is a monster, and as you know incredibly hard to navigate,” Maher told Pride Source. “In the midst of my father’s demise my family and I were debilitated and overwhelmed with helplessness. The Alzheimer’s Association, Emily [Remington, AA’s Major Gift Officer] especially, provided so much guidance we so desperately needed. I will forever be grateful and was so willing to do whatever I could to help, and potentially alleviate the pain of those suffering in a similar manner as I had.”

Though Maher claimed to not be particularly close to his dad, who lived in New York, the two had mutual affection for each other and that was not at all diminished when Maher came out to his dad in 1993.

“They were amazing,” Maher said of his parents. “Not going to lie, I may have received some literature from the church where my dad confided to a priest his battle about having a gay son. But he stated very clearly to me that nothing would ever change his love for me. He was a sweet, simple, old-fashioned man, and he just couldn’t understand how I could be gay and live a happy life. Years later, seeing the extraordinary life I had created for myself, his adoration for my husband and our kids [was great and] I like to think his worries about me subsided. Actually, I’m sure they did.”

Today, Maher lives with his husband, Paul Mareski, and their two children, 13-year-old Sophia and 10-year-old Liam, in Metro Detroit.

“My husband grew up in Michigan, and all of his siblings are still here, with a grand total of 14 cousins, including our best friends’ kids, also part of the reason we moved, and we wanted to raise our children alongside them,” Maher said. “The seed was planted when our daughter turned 6 — she’s 13 now — and we knew Michigan was where we’d move if we did move, so we took a leap of faith and left LA long before we thought we would. Culture shock for me aside, best decision we made as a family.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.