Queen Latifah has been tapped to headline the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Festival later this month, which has left many wondering if she’s finally, officially, coming out and letting the world know she’s gay.

Since playing Cleo, the brash out and proud lesbian, in the film Set It Off many have speculated about Latifah’s sexual orientation. Although she’s never said she was gay…or straight for that matter, people seemed to assume that her convincing performance hinted at her true self. Add to that the fact that she’s never been spotted with man-candy on her arm but was spotted on a boat getting close with Jeanette Jenkins, and folks began waiting for her to officially proclaim she’s gay and proud.

But why?

I’ve always been a fan of the Queen. Since she burst on the scene with her Afrocentric ‘fits and powerful, take-no-shorts lyrics, she’s always been one of my favorites. So when people argue that she needs to just “come out already” I want to tell them STFU.

Here’s why.

Reason # 1: People don’t have to “come out as straight,” why is it different for gays?

No one ever questions when a heterosexual person will “come out” and explain to the world that, yes…they love the opposite sex, so why should it be any different for a gay person? If life is about being in love and living how you want, why does one person owe the world a long, drawn-out explanation about what goes on between their sheets, and the other does not? Separate but equal? Methinks not.

Reason # 2: Actions speak louder than coming out speeches.

While some may want Latifah to hold an “I’m gay, dammit!” press conference or spill the tea to Ellen, how she lives her life is far more important than what she has to say.  Although the Queen has never “come out,” she’s been spotted canoodling with (ex-girlfriend?) fitness trainer Jeanette Jenkins and she’s a fierce advocate for the LGBT community, often working with several organizations to combat negative treatment on the basis of sexuality. If actions indeed speak louder than words, Latifah’s been showing her love for the LGBT community, is that not enough?

Reason # 3: It’s none of our damn business.

In this day and age, many folks think everything celebrities do is up for public debate, but some things—like whom they date—isn’t really any of our business. It’s one thing if they’re constantly on the town with a new boo-of-the-week or flaunting a five-carat diamond for the cameras, but for celebs who value their privacy, we shouldn’t continue to speculate on who is occupying their bedrooms.

What do you think? Why are some people so intent on Queen Latifah “officially” coming out?  

  • http://www.chicmodernvintage.blogspot.com Tonia

    While I do not agree with the G&L lifestyle …. It’s no need for her to “officially” come out like you said actions speak louder than words and it ain’t none of our business.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    If she doesn’t want to talk about it, that’s her perogative.

    However, I do sometimes wonder what the impact on society would be if every actor, politician, athlete, teacher, bus driver, musician, shoe salesman, clergyperson, scientist, etc. that is currently living in the closet, came out and said, “Hey, I’m gay. And I’m proud.”

  • http://www.purplekeychain.blogspot.com purplekeychain

    +1

    And #word.

    And also, +1000 to #3.

  • Dreaming

    I cannot speak for others, so I cannot answer why some people are intent for Queen Latifah to ‘come out’. Well, wait. I think one reason may be is because many people view being heterosexual as the default sexuality the same way White people are viewed as the default and the same way men are viewed as the default.

  • Keshia

    To each his own. It is her business whether she is gay or not. I believe she is gay and I never understood why she’s been hiding it for so many years.

  • Toni

    Who says all these “closeted” homosexuals are in fact in the closet? Just because they not yelling and proclaiming from the rooftops that they are interested in members of their same sex? Everybody wants to know who everybody is “doing” and to me that is more disturbing than them not announcing about their love life.

  • Dreaming

    Your statement is contradicting to me. You wonder why she has been ‘hiding’ her sexuality, but then you say it’s her business.

  • Whatever

    I feel like the pressure is actually coming from the GLBT community. At this point it’s pretty obvious that Queen Latifah is a lesbian and I think the the GLBT community want to see her officially come out and represent in the way Wanda Sykes has. Of course she has no obligation to publicly announcing who she sleeps with and why… just like any other gay person also does not have to disclose their sexual orientation.

  • Whatever

    I feel like the pressure is actually coming from the GLBT community. At this point it’s pretty obvious that Queen Latifah is a lesbian and I think the the GLBT community want to see her officially come out and represent in the way Wanda Sykes has. Of course she has no obligation to publicly announce who she sleeps with and why… just like any other gay person also does not have to disclose their sexual orientation if they choose not to.

  • Tumaini

    Amen.

  • Stanley

    Boom!

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

    The Queen and other Black celebs who may be lesbian or gay don’t come out because they understand that doing so will severely impact their careers due to an excessive amount of bigotry against lesbian and gay people in the Black communities where evangelical Christianity is a mainstay.

    There are many studies that conclude that African Americans as a whole are more religious that other groups and I think that’s the basis for so many Black people, celebs or not, keeping their homosexuality a secret.

    And as for the whole coming out thing; yes str8 people don’t have to come out. But that’s like comparing apples to avocados. There is no price to pay for being str8 in America and the world in general, there is one to pay for being gay or lesbian.

    So it’s not as simple as just being you. Being known or thought to be gay or lesbian in some situations and places can get you killed.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    It’s a darn shame people like Queen Latifah have to live a double life. I don’t think she should talk about it other than to say I’m a lesbian. Who she’s dating is her business. The problem with stars today is they tell all their business and in the process lose their glamour.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

    “…they tell all their business and in the process lose their glamour.”

    +1

  • Bee

    The most sensible comment yet. Thank you! I used to deny the idea that black people are so (on the whole) anti-GLBT, but the religiosity of black American cultures cannot be denied, and it translates most often into either violently anti-gay attitudes or quietly oppressive anti-gay attitudes that ultimately prevent many black people from wanting to exit the closet. I’m just thankful that my generation and the younger generation are changing (have changed) quite a lot in our openness and acceptance (notice I didn’t use the word “tolerance,” as I detest that word because it bespeaks a sense of moral superiority from the person whose “tolerating” the other person) of GLBT people. Sidebar: American culture as a whole is ridiculously anti-GLBT (no matter how much people want to deny it – being gay can get you harassed, fired from your job, homeless, even beaten up or killed in some places in this country). Black Americans are therefore really no more anti-GLBT than Americans in general, unless you conclude that black folks are more religious than most Americans which I’m not sure if I believe.

    Even though many black folks admit that Latifah is most likely gay, many of the same folks would likely turn their noses up if she actually said it. It’s like in the family you always have a person whom everyone knows is probably gay or something, but no one cares as long as that person doesn’t say he/she is gay or god forbid use the word “homosexual” in reference to him/herself. That, I think, describes many black folks’ relationship to Latifah and other notably questionable folks (e.g. Jada Pinkett and Will Smith). Just my two cents.

  • Bee

    (Hopefully, this doesn’t double post.) For those of you who don’t think it matters that she never officially comes out, might I suggest that that is because you are not a black GLBT person. It matters. It’s not the most important thing in the world, but it matters.

    Talk to some older black openly GLBT people, and they’ll likely tell you that it matters to some extent. Also, please watch PARIAH, if you think it’s not harmful for visible black leaders and celebrities to be openly GLBT. Practically everyone has a need (on some conscious or subconscious level) to see themselves represented in films, tv shows, music, and/or magazines; and that includes black GLBT people. It is impossible to describe how alone one can feel as a GLBT black person when one never sees him/herself represented: this is particularly true when one has no black GLBT friends. I’m just saying.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

    @Bee

    “Even though many black folks admit that Latifah is most likely gay, many of the same folks would likely turn their noses up if she actually said it. It’s like in the family you always have a person whom everyone knows is probably gay or something, but no one cares as long as that person doesn’t say he/she is gay or god forbid use the word “homosexual” in reference to him/herself. ”

    Exactly.

  • iQgraphics

    I don’t think she lives a double life. I believe that she just lives. When she’s questioned about children, she says, “hopefully, one day it’ll happen”, but I think she tactfully dodges questions that she shouldn’t be asked in the first place.

  • http://www.kinxnquirx.com/2012/01/why-should-celebs-come-out.html/ Tori D.

    Co-sign!! There is no reason for anyone to be so concerned with what someone else does in the bedroom unless they’re doing it (or supposed to be doing it) with you, IMHO.

  • iQgraphics

    well, that’s why movies like pariah exist. however, it is her own prerogative as grown woman to decide whether she wants to announce her sexual preference to the world. there are other issues within different racial communities that rip families apart as seen in that movie. Americanized Middle Eastern girls being ostracized, beaten and sometimes killed, interracial dating, religious affiliations… etc. So although LGBTQ is polarizing to some families and some individuals, they do have a right to live their life the way they themselves deem fit. And who are we to judge? That’s what started the issue in the first place. Judgement.

  • chanela

    It’s true! i even know this gay guy on my facebook page who is SOO upset that anderson cooper isn’t (out the closet) along with other celebs. his reasoning is that if more gay public figures come out then that’ll stop gay people from committing suicide for being bullied.

    i see other gay people trying to “out” others or getting mad and losing respect for someone because they don’t come out the closet to the world. it’s ridiculous

  • chanela

    um maybe gay men but not lesbians. haven’t you noticed that lately as soon as a female celebrity becomes more famous then they claim to be bisexual. its considered sexy. men love lesbians and bisexual women. women on the other hand get no benefit from finding out that their favorite male celebrity is gay/bisexual. nicki minaj said that when she first came on the scene. so did megan fox and lady gaga.

  • http://www.cocoareport.com Cocoa

    I remember when Ellen Degeneres came out and she basically lost her career. People knew that she was gay but it was ok because she did not confirm it but all hell broke out once she did.It’s not easy thing speak publicly in general.. Times are changing but there are still obstacles in the LGBT community.

    We all seen the pictures so we all know and I pretty sure she know that we know.
    I don’t think Queen Latifah owes an explanation to anyone. If she is happy and content with how she leads her life that is all that matter.

  • Alexandra

    I agree with each and every last one of these points, especially #3. I always felt that even though I may not 100% agree with homosexuality, I asked myself, well what does it have to do with me? Why is it my business? Why should it matter? Who cares, as long as they’re not hurting me or my family?

    She doesn’t owe anyone a damn thing. In reference to #1, it would be nice if straight people noticed their privilege and stop encouraging the double standard.
    If there’s any pressure for Latifah to come out, in my opinion it should only be for all the young gay Black people who may need a loved, Black celeb to give them a boost of pride in their sexuality. the. end.

  • chika e.

    queen latifah business is her business. she doesnt owe anybody a damn thing. to the people who say that they dont agree witht he homosexual lifestyle %100, how do you not agree with people being their trueselves. NO ONE chooses to be gay. i’m not gay. im straight. i didnt have a choice in being straight. no one has a choice in being gay. i think the kids killing themselves becausing of the bullying for being gay wouldnt be gay if they had a choice. smh. anyway.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/clnmike Tonton Michel

    Worst kept secret.

  • Bee

    *I meant for visible black leaders and celebrities to be closeted.*

  • chinaza

    Reason #3- all day long!

  • jw

    I think she’s a lesbian.I never heard any rumors about Halle Berry,Taraji P. Henson being lesbians.Usually were there’s smoke there is fire.Especially when the rumors are about woman in Hollywood being lesbians,sooner or later the truth comes out.If she isn’t a lesbian,then all she would have to say is,”Iam not a lesbian.I love men.I don’t know were people are getting this idea that Iam a lesbian”.By her saying something like that,should put the so call rumors to rest.But by her not speaking on the matter,it makes sense for people to think she’s a lesbian.It seems to me that’s the way the Hollywood industry works.For example,If there are rumors about a actor cheating on his wife.And the actor stays quiet on the subject.Then the rumors will soon turn into the truth and not just rumors.By staying quiet on something that is about you, unless it’s a legal manner,and your told by a lawyer to stay quiet.Staying quiet on a rumor about you will only confirm the rumor to be the truth.

  • Misty_Moonsilver

    I’d be heartbroken if she turns out to be gay.

  • Angie

    All hail the Queen! I love Queen Latifah no matter what!

  • tomatotomahto

    its also okay to “come out” or to say your are bisexual when you are a “girly girl” or are a feminine female. its non threatening and cute, even sexy.

    but the flip side is this:

    Ellen almost lost her career because it wasn’t cute or sexy for her to be gay. Because she was a manly kind of gay which threatened males and bothered people that she would be “targeting” feminine women and “making them gay”.

    Same for Queen Latifah.

    her acting in Set It Off mirrored some lesbians and she wasn’t the feminine lesbian that you see in porn and thus it made people uncomfortable and is probably why no matter what circle a conversation about Queen Latifah comes up in, you will ALWAYS here about her acting in that movie.

    That is what had people thinking she was gay way before the photos of her with her personal trainer surfaced. Set It Off came out years ago, the photos with her trainer, like 2 years ago or less. And yet she has always been gay in the minds of most.

  • Truth

    The truth is the truth! The women is a dude in a booty dress!The very first time I heard Queen L. speak, I knew then she way gay! She got that male swagger!

  • Truth

    I thank God everyday I don’t have to experience this type of life with my daughter. I work around this type of environment everyday on my job, and it’s very sickening to the point they know not to come with it when they are in my presence. Women kissing each other out in public like it’s a celerbration. The truth is the truth, these relationships do not last long if you notice, it’s either aids or cancer destroys these types of relationships.
    I’m not saying this to be ugly. I have wittness at least 10 gay couples who have lost their lovers to these two diseases at an early age. Out of the ten couples, six of them died from rectum cancer and the others, aids.

  • C. Sheri

    Truth-

    Is it possible that you just generalized an entire group of people based on who they have sex with or better yet, who they are attracted to? Is it possible that sex has more than one definition that does not involve penetration? To say that homosexuals are going to die of cancer and AIDS is a huge generalization. Better yet, you cross people on a daily basis that are gay pr have gay relations that are not dying for AIDS and cancer…. Where do these statistics come from? Please upload the link.

  • C. Sheri

    Here is my deal:

    When you read a Langston Hughes Poem, did you automatically know he was gay because of the words he chose?

    When you heard Angela Davis speak or read her essays on feminism, did you automatically know she identifies as a lesbian?

    When you see photos of Bayard Rustin (Organizer of the March On Washington), by his haircut and associations with Martin Luther King, did you know he was a gay man? Did you know that he was disallowed from attending his own event due to his homosexuality?

    When you read The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, and you read how racism crushed his father and his community, did you know he was gay?Or Zora Neale Hurston?

    The fact of the matter is there are people that move us on a daily basis, be it their politics, artworks, literature, music, etc and you never knew they were gay! What does it matter who they sleep with or choose to love? When do we as a society decide that who you sleep with matters?

  • Charli

    “Women kissing each other in public like it’s a celebration”?
    I’m sorry, when did it ever matter who anyone kisses? I kiss my boyfriend out in public, not because it’s a celebration, but because I love him and feel like it. If a lesbian woman chooses to kiss her girlfriend in public, I’m thinking it’s probably for the same reason. Also, not be ugly, but if your daughter were to identify herself as a part of the LBGT community, I hate to think what a person like you would do.

  • Gabby

    Is she really gay I’m sad I’ve always admired her and she’s awesome super cool I’m not against being gay it just disappoints me and wierds me out a little??! She’s a sweet wonderful kind person, I got to hug her at a concert I went to and it was sooo cool to hug one of my heroes!

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