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Nomalanga: Why Queen Latifah and Raven Symone should “come out”

Queen Latifah has reportedly said that she is “not coming out” and she will not disclose her sexual orientation. Recently, Raven Symone also reportedly stated that she was not willing to disclose her sexual orientation.

First of all, just to be clear, everyone has the right to “come out” or not or to say that they will not discuss their personal life in a public forum. That being said, when a celebrity’s sexual orientation comes into question, the only way to stop the rumor mill from going wild is to publicly state the truth.

The issue that I see with Queen Latifah’s decision to make a public statement about her decision to remain silent about her sexual orientation is that it is like speaking out of both sides of her mouth. If she was going to ignore what was being said, she could have just not participated in interviews on the subject and just ignored the rumors. On the other hand, being interviewed and then saying that she is not going to reveal something that people are curious about does not serve her or the Gay community.

If Queen Latifah is indeed gay, her unwillingness to “come out” suggests that, unlike what she said, she is not willing to “stand with her people”. If she is not gay, it would also be easier for her to just say so. Of course, people will still speculate and continue to wonder but it will certainly not be to the degree it is when she remains silent about the issue.

Keeping your private life out of the tabloids is something that I completely understand. There are a lot of celebrities and non-celebrities who choose to keep their private lives out of the lime light. A good example is Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham. Oprah has stated may times that she prefers to keep her relationship with Stedman private. At the end of the day, though, we still know that Oprah is heterosexual and we understand that the details of her relationship are private.

I have nothing but love for both Queen Latifah and Raven Symone but let’s be “real”-if you were not gay, it would have been easier to just say that you’re not gay. Not saying anything leads people to believe that you are gay and then also begs the question, why won’t you just say it?

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40 Responses to Nomalanga: Why Queen Latifah and Raven Symone should “come out”

  1. nell Reply

    June 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I disagree. The personal life of these two women is no one’s business. Let people speculate. The level of homophobia in our community is enough to keep one in the closet.

    • DaTruth Reply

      June 11, 2012 at 5:54 am

      I totally agree!

  2. Chris Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Given my admiration for the women as the topic of this article as well as the author considering the past articles and letters that have been written it makes this response very interesting.
    I’ll try and make this brief though…

    Concerning Raven, I think that she just likes to keep to herself and I respect that as many don’t really care and have no respect about themselves. Granted, I think I would be a little disappointed if I did know that she was homosexual, however it wouldn’t hurt any image of her in my mind. I believe she is one of the few real people within the industry.

    Regarding Ms. Latifah AKA Ms. Owens, I believe that she has had some traumatic experiences in her life regarding her personal life and privacy. Her indulgence within interviews is that in itself, an indulgence. This, in and of itself is not an implicit accusation, however she may not be ready to expose one of her deepest secrets to a public that isn’t exactly forgiving to those with secrets and/or perspectives/orientations that aren’t popular. From what I remember though, she may have been molested at a younger age by a sitter and therefore may not want to quite get into that particular memory. Some people take more time to heal from wounds and she may not be over hers yet.

    I say, live and let live. Rumors can spread all day everyday, but giving into them and letting them worry you is not the goal.

  3. Manetric Douglas Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    They could be keeping quiet about their sexual orientation because they see nothing wrong with being gay. I think it’s their business and has nothing to do with standing with their “community”.

    • BigWill Reply

      July 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Agreed

      • BigWill Reply

        July 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

        HIV is synthetic. It has been developed over a number of years and it has an affinity for people of color. What the science and medical evidence concludes is that the HIV enzyme seeks out a receptor site in the blood of the Black genome. The receptor site is the CCR5 Delta 32+ (positive) gene that all people of color have. In the same sense, on the other end of the spectrum, is the 15 percent Caucasian population of the world, which is CCR5 Delta 32-(negative) gene. That means that under no circumstances, whether HIV came through the air, intravenous drug usage or any form of sexual activity, would the virus be transferable in Caucasian sector of the world’s population, which is basically of northern European descent.

        It is speculated by some experts that, in a worse case scenario, 85 percent of the world’s population could potentially perish under these designer viruses and designer synthetic biological agents. What we’re looking at here—because of this identified gene of the Black genome, this CCR5 Delta32+ (positive)—we are potentially looking at the eradication of all people of color.The bible states “My people perish for lack of knowledge. The true devil doesn’t wear red tights, a cape with horns protruding from his forehead instead, the devil incarnate are diabolical Caucasian scientist (men and women) in white lab coats.

        • Anon Reply

          August 6, 2013 at 6:05 am

          What kind of trite dribble is this? The Bible states the devil is Caucasian? Really? And I guess all the white people with HIV are to be also discarded.

          Seriously, this is the most misinformed post I have ever read. I am stupider for having read it. These conspiratorial theories are right up there with UFOs, birthers, and 9/11 truthers. Oh, and there were 4 gunmen on the grassy knoll, too.

  4. ANA Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Why is it anyone else’s business what another persons sexual preference is? Regardless to who you are or what your profession is you are entitled to some privacy. If you start telling sexual preference next it will be “with who” and “who was best”. Just back off. I’m nosey but even I draw the line at some things.

  5. Ms. Monica Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    They don’t have to say anything if they choose not to. It shows that people need to get a “life”. It is none of your business people ! You have no right. Because they are entertainers don’t mean you have to know who they are sleeping with. Come on people……..get a life !

  6. Gcole Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Nomalanga, if you want to sleep with either of them, just go ask, and find something more constructive to write about.

  7. AMAZINGGRACE Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Raven is out. That was discussed last month, I read it. Queen on the other hand, has not come out. So what, who cares. When its personal, its personal.

  8. Just James Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I couldn’t disagree more. That’s a personal decision. Our culture is over sexualized.
    Let’s talk about what these women do to make
    a difference and a impact in a way they fell
    comfortable and stop trying to use people for
    selfish motives. Really??? Just do you Boo…

  9. Pingback: Successful Black Woman » Blog Archive » Queen Latifah and Raven Simone Should “Come out”

  10. jj1913 Reply

    June 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    It’s their personal business. Let’s write about these young ladies’ contributions to society. Your article supports your opinion. Write about other subject matters.

    From your statement, Keeping your private life out of the tabloids is something that I completely understand. There are a lot of celebrities and non-celebrities who choose to keep their private lives out of the lime light. A good example is Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham. Oprah has stated may times that she prefers to keep her relationship with Stedman private. At the end of the day, though, we still know that Oprah is heterosexual and we understand that the details of her relationship are private.

    Can we really “know” where Oprah’s position is on this matter??? That’s your speculation. So, leave them all alone until they notify the media with an update…..

  11. S Reply

    June 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Who in the hello-kitty cares? Because u see Oprah with Stedman does not mean she is heterosexual. This is a stupid as saying because you see a man standing in a horse stable he is a horse… People need to mind their business and worry about who they are bumpin the ugly with and what they are doing behind their closed and PRIVATE doors….SMH…

  12. Michelle Reply

    June 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Whoever wrote this mind ur business if they don’t want to share then that’s up too them find a better way to enjoy ur day then trying too be so noisy the gay community and anyone else will not die for anybody’s sins but there on u really just pissed me off I STILL LOVE THEM NO MATTER WHAT THERE SEXUALITY IS

  13. Regina Reply

    June 20, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Nomalanga, BORROW A LIFE. What these women do with their lives is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. When you start paying THEIR BILLS, then maybe you may get an opportunity to say something.

  14. GAY GOD Reply

    June 20, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Queen Latifah is OUT… as in she is courageous, strong, loving and fulfilled in her life and skin. Just the fact that she lives with her girlfriend and been photographed with her, supported Gay Pride is enough. NO ONE IS OBLIGATED TO SHARE THEIR PERSONAL BUSINESS or SEXUAL ORIENTATION, if people in Hollywood who are str8 are not publically disclosing who they sleep with and or their sexual orientation, than why should she. If she does fine, and if she does not fine. Its irrelevant. I think if she doesn’t its not because she is ashamed or scared, yet because she knows how some if not many might attempt to exploit, label, limit and hold her to political agendas that she may not feel obligated to uphold nor speak on.

  15. justice Reply

    July 6, 2012 at 9:14 am

    People kill me wanting to know other people’s sexual orientation. But not only that those that actually feel an obligation to broadcast it to the world. Lately, I have read and heard about so many people, “coming out”. I don’t know but maybe its some type of pick up line. Heterosexuals don’t broadcast their sexual orientation why should gays? Keep it where it belongs which is in the bedroom.

  16. Cecily Jones Reply

    July 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Leave these two women alone! What these two consenting adults do with their consenting adult partners in bed or out of bed is nothing to do with anybody else. As a heterosexual woman, I don’t have to ‘disclose’ my sexual orientation to anyone and I don’t see why anyone else should have to explain their sexual preferences to the public. What on earth will it do for mew or anyone else to know these women’s sexual orientation? Will it bring world peace? Bring about social justice? Go find something more pressing and urgent to write about. This is not ‘news’, just fuelling homophobia.

  17. Micah Crump Reply

    July 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I disagree with the author’s post. I don’t think that Queen Latifah has to “choose sides” and if she doesn’t, I don’t think she’s guilty of “not standing with her people.” If we identify all of the activities that Latifah engages in (e.g., which gender she “sleeps” with, whether she’s pro-life or pro-choice, whether she eats pork, showers or bathes, whether she “speaks in tongues,” and so forth…to an infinity of activities) should we require her to publicly proclaim her choice in all of these activities, thereby “standing with her people?” I happen to be, and have been, a heterosexual male my entire life. Yet, I don’t consider heterosexual people, as “my people,” and homosexual people as “not my people.” …no more so than I consider people who love bacon, including 2 of my orthodox Jewish rabbi friends :) to be “my people.” Frankly, I think we should leave peoples’ choices of which activities they engage in to be their own choice: and we should respect those choices when they wish to remain private in them: as long as their choices don’t hurt others, especially children. That said, I do like and agree with what the author normally says.

  18. GG Reply

    July 11, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Any one who says it doesn’t matter and its no ones business about their choice in who they date is obviously GAY people. So leave it as such, and move on. I really mean it, move on and leave it/them the hell alone.
    NO straight person would say that. If asked I would say “no I’m not gay” and keep it moving.
    People prod and stick their noses into too much of other people’s lives.

  19. ouida smith Reply

    July 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Why can’t we mind our own business and leave other people business alone,what they all do behind closed door is on them not us.Stright people do much worst then they do. I love them both they are funny & are good actors. Yes I’m stright.

  20. whatiam Reply

    July 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Queen, it’s “your” business.

  21. onmyway2012 Reply

    July 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Oh the double mindness. I agree within the author. Both women are gay and don’t want to hurt their mainstream money. This ridiculous, my sexuality is my business, is a classic excuse by closeted homosexuals lying about getting straight. Straight people do not go out of their way, angrily, to avoid taking about keeping their sexuality private. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard. The decision not to come out is the very reason why homosexuality and honesty should never be in the same sentence. There is nothing respectable about hiding in the closet and concealing your homosexuality because you want to keep your life private.

    This it’s party of being a celebrity, and outside of that, living authentic. This has nothing to do with bravery and privacy, but hiding in the closet because while most of the black community knows about Queen Latifah being a lesbian, most do not know about Raven. Coming out add lesbians will hurt their care lol @ it’s their private business. Wrong. It’s about $$$$$.

    • onmyway2012 Reply

      July 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Excuse the typos. On my smartphone.

    • onmyway2012 Reply

      July 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      typos due to using smartphone.

  22. LIZ Reply

    July 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT QUEEN LATIFAH IS A BUTCH GAY WOMAN BUT SHE WOULD RATHER NOT COMMENT ON IT OR SCREAM IT TO THE WORLD!! SHE DOES NOT WANT TO TAKE A CHANCE AND RUIN HER MONEY MAKING OPPORTUNITIES. CAN YOU BLAME HER??? I’D BE SCARED TOO. MONEY IS MONEY AND YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH OF IT. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!!

  23. jay Reply

    July 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I personally could care less if she does come out or not. In fact, it may be better if she keeps it to herself…the influence of such a lifestyle is a part of a dysfunctional society that America has become already. Besides, it’s their personal business whether they are clebrity or not. We spend too much time on such trivial matters like gossip, we shuiold try to focus on more serius issues such as those women in NOrth Carolina who were purposely sterilized and can’t get compensation for this evil act.

  24. edgre Williams Reply

    November 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    It’s obvious what both women are and their not trying to hide, so why must they make some big declaration. If their afforded equal rights, it’s not required to declare you sexuallity. That coming out crap is so pass’e.

  25. Mack W Jackson Reply

    November 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Nomalanga how is speculating about Queen Latifah and Raven Symone orientation helping them to thrive in their lives and careers. Being out is a personal and many times professional decision. Orientation is not a protected class in all states. In those other states employers are under no obligation to provide a non-Homophobic work environment. As an actor people are required to assume many different roles. Typecasting becomes the death of a career.

  26. Ne Chambers Reply

    November 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    People are full of sh*t. If you come out, they say… “You should of kept that to yourself”!!, I dont want to know!” If you dont come out, they say “You shouldnt have kept that a secret, or they will out and expose you and humiliate you, kind of like what they are doing now to Raven and Queen(They are harassing/stalking them and thats not cool). Basically you are dammed if you do, dammned if you don’t. Homophobes are going to judge you regardless if you in or out the closet(Thats what degenerates do). Instead of worrying about peoples orientation, we need to focus on this f^ked up economy..

  27. Firenze Reply

    January 15, 2013 at 1:30 am

    By the way Raven Symone did come out, she was a guest on the Wendy Williams Show the subject came up and apparently she’s happy with some model/actress girl who was at backstage at the time….

  28. Lisa Reply

    January 15, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Private is just that, and it shouldn’t matter if you are famous or not, if you don’t want to discuss your sexual orientation than you should be allowed to just be silent about it. The black community is so homophobic, and the nation still struggles to grant gay people their equal rights. So what would be the true benefit of these tow women comming out? I respect their decision to remain private.

  29. Malia Artis Reply

    April 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Nomalanga, after reading this post, I get the impression that they should come out to make you feel better by confirming what you’ve already decided about them. It may be “easier to just say that you’re not gay”, but the easiest thing isn’t always the right thing. What purpose would be served besides satisfying public curiosity? How do we know activism isn’t taking place beyond the public eye?

    “Not saying anything leads people to believe that you are gay and then also begs the question, why won’t you just say it?” People will believe what they want to believe regardless of what Ms. Owens or Ms. Symone say, as you’ve just proven.

    They have a right to keep their private lives to themselves. Granting an interview does not mean they have to answer every question directed to them.

  30. Kat Reply

    July 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    My dear Nomalanga….can you not use your talents for more productive reporting? Isn’t there another news-worthy story happening somewhere in the world other than the sexual orientation of two successful black women? How about reporting on some of their accomplishments that would be inspirational or motivational to up and coming young female actresses? Or maybe find out what ways are they giving back to the community or how they are “paying it forward”? No one gives a rat’s azz who they sleep or have sex with.

  31. Kat Reply

    July 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    My dear Nomalanga….can you not use your talents for more productive reporting? Isn’t there another news-worthy story happening somewhere in the world other than the sexual orientation of two successful black women? How about reporting on some of their accomplishments that would be inspirational or motivational to up and coming young female actresses? Or maybe find out what ways are they giving back to the community or how they are “paying it forward”? No one gives a rat’s azz who they sleep or have sex with.

  32. Alisha Reply

    August 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Nomalanga,

    I found it interesting that in this article, you make no mention of the issues that the African-American community has with homosexuality and how those issues are rooted in our churches, our culture and the black male fear of demasculinity.No connection was made between the negative outlook our community has and the unwillingness of Black celebrities to come out. As a black queer women, I find my sexual orientation to be a thing of contempt and a basis for my dismissal from my own community…white people don’t really care if I’m gay, only if I’m Democrat or Republican. My people, black people have a different view and me being gay either means that I’m going to want every female who walks by or that I haven’t had a real man to show me what I’m missing. Really my people?

    The number of black celebrities who are gay (and obvious) is a little ridiculous…and the way so many of them run from the label, I can’t help but notice that the need to be seen as straight seems to correlate with the need to be seen as part of the African-American community.

    I recommend to all seeing the independent film “The New Black” that explores the African-American community and their feelings toward homosexuality. “Paris is Burning” is also a great look at the culture, art, creativity and energy that black men bring to the community.

    Perhaps instead of urging these celebs to come out, we should look at our own community and see what it is about us that forces our brothers and sisters to hide who they really are.

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