Furor over closeted lesbian Queen Latifah officiating mass gay wedding at Grammys

Actress and singer-songwriter Queen Latifah caused quite a stir by officiating over the marriage of 33 (or so) couples, many of them gay, during the Grammys Sunday night.

And while many on the religious right were upset with CBS and the Grammys for sanctioning “the gay,” a lot of gays were none-too-happy with Latifah for celebrating gay unions while refusing to (they say) come out of the closet herself.

Apparently, Latifah is gay.  And not just Aaron-Schock-gay (aka gaydar gay), but so gay that you don’t even need to bother checking out her shoes, or her Instagram account, in order to figure it out.

Queen Latifah. Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

Queen Latifah. Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

The number of prominent gay people who have claimed Latifah’s lesbianism include writer, radio host and activist Mike Signorile, blogger JoeMyGod, former head of GLAAD Herndon Graddick, and the editor of the Washington Blade Kevin Naff.  Hillary Crosley at Jezebel and June Thomas at Slate came awfully close to outing Latifah as well (you don’t do an article on someone being “hypothetically” gay unless you’re pretty sure they’re gay).

But Latifah won’t budge, and continues to play the coy little game of staying in the closet while embracing the gay.  For example, here’s what she had to say to the Hollywood Reporter about her sexual orientation last August when her new daytime talk show was announced:

Queen Latifah tells the Hollywood Reporter she is not prepared to talk about her sexuality on “The Queen Latifah Show,” which is currently set for a Sept. 16 debut.

“I don’t feel the need to discuss my private life on this show or any other show,” the 43-year-old star told the magazine’s Marisa Guthrie. “There’s the part of my life that the public and I share together. And there’s the part that’s mine to keep for myself. And that’s mine. For me.”

Naff at the Blade weighs in further:

Why do we keep rewarding closet cases when there are so many other openly LGBT people deserving of attention and praise? Bring out Wanda Sykes, Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lang, Ellen DeGeneres or Neil Patrick Harris to do the honors. The irony of that Grammy moment was glaring: a beautiful hit song celebrating same-sex love and the unions of gay and lesbian couples introduced and presided over by a closeted lesbian….

How can we expect average LGBT Americans to come out when some of the wealthiest and most successful among us — like Latifah — continue to cower in the closet?

One big problem with Latifah’s position is that she’s sending a message that there is a problem.  She’s signaling that there’s something wrong with being gay.

People can defend Latifah’s choice, claiming that she has a right to privacy.  And Latifah can talk all she wants about her desire to protect her “private life.”  But straight Americans – and particularly celebrities – don’t invoke the right to privacy when you simply inquire about the well-being of their spouse.  And they don’t rail about their “private life” when you ask, “how goes the girlfriend?”

And in fact, celebrities are usually accompanied to events like the Grammys by their significant other in the first place, making clear that their heterosexual orientation isn’t a private matter at all.

The only time celebrities try to hide who they’re dating is when it’s someone else’s spouse, an underage child, an animal, a corpse, or a gay.

Message received.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • emjayay

    I was going to write something here, but really I hope it goes without saying. Changing the subject, false equivalency, straw man arguement….something like that.

  • Butch1

    No worries and that explains it much better; thanks.

  • LanceThruster

    I don’t either. Sorry for the clumsy wording. I was thinking of anti-gay closeted Goopers, specifically.

  • Shalonda Johnson

    Queen Latifah knows exactly what she is Doing. However, I love her and America does too. They will embrace the Queen the same way they embraced Ellen.

  • Shalonda Johnson

    I agree. Its only a matter of time before that door flies open. You right, she Raven and Robin Roberts Gay. Love them all!! Beautiful Black Women!!

  • Shalonda Johnson

    I absolutely love and adore the Queen..However you cannot say this writer does not have a point.

  • Butch1

    They would never be invited ever again.

  • Butch1

    ;-)

  • Butch1

    I wouldn’t say that she is “harming” our community; would you? Until she does and until she feels comfortable in choosing the appropriate time frame when to come out, that really should be her decision.

    Perhaps it has to do with the timing of her new program. Hollywood is homophobic and she may think it might affect her chances with her program getting off the ground. Perhaps after the should getting a good start she might feel better and she may get a better feel of her audience at that time as well. Obviously, she has personal reasons for keeping this under wraps at the moment. Because we want her to come out is irrelevant.

  • Butch1

    Lobby? I didn’t know “we” had such a lobby. Why do you think “we” would be phobic?

  • Butch1

    Welcome.

  • xscd

    Public coming out shouldn’t be necessary, in an ideal world. I was raised fundamentalist Christian, but after years of examining my beliefs and Christian doctrine, I was left with this question–

    How can a religion that teaches you that you’re evil and shameful be healthy and good?

    http://s6.postimg.org/n3cd7p3a9/billboard_religion2.jpg


    I’m not a Christian anymore.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Oh the bisexuals always make it about them. Then come out as bi.

  • Nathanael

    So she’s gone out with both men and women as adults, as far as we can tell.

    Yeah, she has a lot to fear from aggressive biphobic gay people if she comes out.

  • Nathanael

    If she comes out as bi, she’s going to get a shitstorm of hate from biphobic gays. Just sayin’.

  • Nathanael

    I have met straight women who absolutely refused to discuss whether they had boyfriends. Usually they were willing to talk about it more once they got married, but before that? Could go 10 years refusing to say a word to co-workers, while having an active dating life.

  • Nathanael

    Some people really do not want their personal lives exposed. I can actually think of several actresses who refuse, absolutely, unequivocally, to discuss their boyfriends or who they are dating. This is perfectly respectable behavior.

  • Nathanael

    Perhaps she’s bi. The rampant biphobia in the gay community would be reason enough to stay closeted, you know.

  • Nathanael

    I will lay bets that Queen Latifah is not, in fact, gay. She’s probably bi. That would explain her unwillingness to capitulate to pressure from a biphobic gay “outing” lobby.

  • Moderator3

    Kaemanot is not a troll.

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    Oh, joy! I’ve acquired a new troll. You’ll have to up your game, dear. The others are putting you to shame.

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    My bad Dave. I grabbed your “reply” button instead of kingstonbears. Sorry.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Amen and AMEN to that! I talk with these people on a weekly basis… they DO exist! And a great majority of them are conservatives… imagine that!
    Pastor Dak!

  • Dakotahgeo

    Gotta love these faux christian fundies… they provide unending comedy for the sane people of the world. Regarding legality of the wedding ceremony and the Queen’s official stance? Perfectly legal and right. Get over it, Fundies. We’ll celebrate… you can go suck lemons and gag!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “who needs an enema!” you?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Our first drag troll—-how droll.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Clearly you divine falsies when you see them.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yet, you seem to be twirling in her biddness.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Your fruit salad is indigestible.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Move along honey, even your wig has split ends.

  • Anonymous

    A lot of people in this country have completely screwed up attitudes toward relationships. I don’t think sex is really the issue at all. There are a lot of straight people having sex that don’t love or respect their partner.

  • AnthonyLook

    The issue here is not whether Queen Latifah is gay or not. She does not owe anyone their definition of how to come out; the issue is tolerance. I believe Queen Latifah has made plenty of references to her lifestyle to make it obvious. The issue IS intolerance especially among fake Christians and other religious bigots, intolerance is egregious and a matter worthy of debate. Insofar as the acts of marriage; whom so ever is bothered by the act of love and the union of commitment of two adults through the ceremony of marriage- then the issue is you, period. The problem is with you that love would generate such hate within your lost soul.

  • Thom Allen

    What I said applies to Queen Latifa. Michelle Obama is totally extraneous to my comment. I said nothing about whether this situation is right or wrong, just that it is.

  • LanceThruster

    I think it’s proper to out those who are actively harming the LGBT community, but otherwise I think it’s a personal choice to be left up to the individual, even if they’re wanted to be overtly identified with the movement.

    Stephanie Miller comes to mind. It was her own business until she felt she could no longer stand by on the sidelines.

  • BloggerDave

    Thanks but that point is irrelevant…

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    She’s also Black, and “Queen” has been a cultural thing in naming female children for nearly two centuries of recorded Black history. This would be your opportunity to learn sumthin’.

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    I dare you to bring that lame argument to the White House and walk in on Michelle working her mug, with your smartphone in hand. If the Secret Service doesn’t shoot your ass, FLOTUS is likely to snatch you bald and both ends and beat you like a red-headed stepchild. Since when does the bad behavior of the masses make it right?
    People have been killing other people in the name of some dead Jew on a stick for over 2000 years – does that make it right? They use the same reason for warping their childrens’ sexuality, teaching them that their bodies are shameful, and that sex is only for procreation and marriage has nothing to do with love. Does that make it right?
    For that matter, for over 60 years the American public has been herding itself into the drive-thru and bloating itself up to the point where none of us can keep our pants above our crack… does that make it right?
    You can want all you want, to shove your face in Latifah’s “bidness” – but as my Gram used to say “want in one hand, shit in the other – see which fills up faster.”

  • BloggerDave

    Oh yeah… This article was written because Queen Latifah has ALREADY been outed… How did I miss that… LOL…

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    Pot calling the kettle beige, Marge. Another point for you to ponder – Queen Latifah is an American Icon, rich as Midas, and just through the entire bloggosphere and twitterverse into a panicked tailspin with 2 1/2 minutes work.

    Foxy Brown is… um… wha?

    Ever heard of jealousy? How about spite… no? How about petty, you seem to be really familiar with that one!

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    To that I call bullshit. Just because the American public doesn’t have the ambition to get their collective fat asses off the couch and go have their own fun, it does not give us the right to horn in on every fart, jot, and tiddle of Hollywood’s flavor of the week. You are the instrument that brought that change in the media – which really ISN’T a change, if you’d been paying any attention to Hollywood history. You buy that crap, you insist on more. Fine. That only means that your own life is hollow enough that you require the vicarious substitution of glamorized tripe to make up for your own lackluster.
    A person’s career – no matter how “glamorous” we may perceive it to be – does not give anyone the right to strip that person of privacy, respect or self-determination. Look at your own damned list. Lohan? Bieber? Kardashians? You’re pathetic enough to equate Latifah with those? Fans like you, who needs an enema!

  • BloggerDave

    What’s your point? There have also been rumors that QL is gay for years… That doesn’t change the fact that both hers and Jody Foster’s lives are private…

  • Thom Allen

    Hurry along now, Dave. You’ll be late for your therapy appointment. Maybe your therapist can help you with being able to make comments that make sense. I doubt it, but good luck!

  • Thom Allen

    Jodie Foster and rumors of her being gay were on the net for years before she ever said anything about it to the media.

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    Her friend is literate and has moderately good taste in books… oh, dear.

    Grow up.

  • Ninong

    I met him in San Francisco 26 years ago, shortly after he won the Olympic gold medal, and congratulated him. Based on the guys he was with and the conversation, it appeared that he was making no attempt to hide his sexual orientation. None at all.

    I guess in Boitano’s case, it’s a matter of why does one have to make a public announcement about one’s sexual orientation in the first place. Okay, I know what the response from gay activists will be: it’s because he’s a public figure. But if you look at it from the individual’s point of view, whose business is it anyway? That seems to be Queen Latifah’s position, whether other people like it or not.

    I think it would be better if they came out but I still think it’s up to them, UNLESS they’re a US Congressman who consistently votes against gay rights!!! That’s different. Or if they’re a US Senator who votes against gay rights while playing footsie with hot young cops in airport men’s room stalls.

    Ken Mehlman, no matter what he may have done lately, is still my idea of the worst sort of hypocrite on the planet Earth! I remember exactly what that creep did and said during his time in the White House and later as RNC Chairman.

  • Thom Allen

    OK. Never mind.

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    False equivalency much, John? Since when did your parents, Gods bless them, the FLOTUS, and Latifah’s munch-monster have anything remotely like societal equivalency? Or political impact? Or influence over decision making that affects 300 million people at once…. hmm?

  • Thom Allen

    Wrong. You missed my point entirely. What she wants (a private life) and what she gets (public exposure) are very different. And she knows that and she chose that when she pursued her career and became successful. The paparazzi, gossip magazines, news media, fans all act to prevent a private life for celebrities and it’s been that way for generations. And the celebrity also has agents and PR people to keep him/her in view. Fans have smart phones. Any one, seeing QL out at a restaurant or anywhere else can video her and she’ll be all over the net in an hour. She can expect to have a private life, but it’s not going to happen.

  • BloggerDave

    Are you new? She’s a woman so calling herself ‘Queen” means absolutely nothing….

  • Me

    also, just realized there was sarcasm in your post. lol! sorry.. ;)

  • BloggerDave

    You are very wrong… Jody Foster had one and still has one… And she came out when she was good and ready and not when some blogger decided it was time…

  • BloggerDave

    Well it didn’t take, did it?

  • BillFromPA

    Perhaps the opinion of a 63 yr old straight WASP doesn’t matter but here it is anyway. It’s wonderful that more gays feel comfortable coming out and here’s to a safe, happy life to them. But if we start bashing (supposed) gays who prefer to keep on the downlow, we’re taking a step backwards.

  • BloggerDave

    Sorry but you did twist his words… If you have a partner, I pity him or her…

  • Thom Allen

    Foxy Brown is another songstress. She publicly outed QL on TV and in two songs. I suppose you’re not much into music. You can find much more info here: https://tinyurl.com/22l34ln

  • Me

    Wrong. Celebrites can have a private life, if they so wish to have one. There is no rule that states that someone who works in the public eye has any obligation whatsoever to disclose ALL aspects of their life. Her work is as an actress/singer/tv host.. that’s as far as we should expect her to share. Anything that happens behind closed doors is for her to know about and for us to wonder/speculate about.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Them kids today…

  • ComradeRutherford

    I know, your arguments are exactly that.

  • BloggerDave

    Whatever that means…

  • iamlegion

    First of all, I’m not familiar with how Grammy stage pieces are set up, but according to MTV’s press piece, the wedding idea came from Grammy producer Ken Erlich & his daughter; describing Latifah’s part as “thrusting herself into the middle” is BS. If the Grammy people asked Latifah if she wanted to help a few dozen gay couples get married and she said anything other than “hell yes”, _then_ I’d be upset with her. If you think she was an inappropriate person to do it, gripe to the people who chose her.

    Secondly, I’m not saying the road to equality is ended by a long shot, but look at what the hell you’re complaining about: Almost 3 dozen gay couples got married on prime-time network tv, and you’re losing your shit because _one_ of the people helping make that happen isn’t sufficiently “gay” for your sensibilities? Get down off the cross, brother – it’s cold, and we need the firewood.

  • Anonymous

    She’s Raven Symone gay. It’s only a matter of time, I think. Raven also remarked that she was “happy people like her could get married” when DOMA was struck down. Latifah officiating these weddings comes pretty darn close to that.

  • Thom Allen

    Hell, Foxy Brown outed Latifah years ago.

  • jomicur

    Feeble, darling, really, really feeble.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Yeah, I was just feeding back to you what you’ve been doing to me on this whole thread. How do you like it?

  • BloggerDave

    You’re now crossing the line… So she’s Jody Foster-gay… So what? She’s not hurting the cause but helping it… Leave her in the closet if she’s not ready yet… Outing for the sake of outing is immoral..

  • Thom Allen

    Celebrities don’t have a “private” life in case you haven’t noticed. So her expectations that she can have one are pretty foolish.

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    Exactly when did Queen Latifah’s bedroom become an “issue.” Shall we publicly air your business. And as for ” any number of people qualified to have performed those weddings”, this is pure ignorance on your part. You must – in any of the 50 States – be a recognized and licensed agent of that state to sign the marriage documents. Queen Latifah got that license and recognition, albeit temporarily.
    “…thrust herself into the middle of it all…” Video or your lying. The only people thrusting Latifah into the middle of anything are self-important, wet-nosed infants with an over-weening need to prove themselves right, no matter how many times they run smack into a brick wall. She’s a celebrity, she’s a big woman, you’ve never seen her makking on anybody with serious intent, she speaks her mind boldly…. ergo, she’s a “lesbian” and therefor the rightful target of every twit with internet access.
    Twist that shit around anyway you like it, the fact remains Latifah has said it’s none of your business – and it isn’t.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    QL is a traitor. By not coming out, she is saying there’s something wrong with it. If it were no big deal, she’d come out. She’s in the closet for a reason.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Exactly. This is unfortunately lost on most people.They think it’s fine that she continue to live a double standard.

  • Me

    Since we’re on this crusade to make personal matters public, shall we then know what your sexual fetishes are? Do you like buttplugs, dildos, etc..? You know, in the spirit of transparency and being open about sexuality.. because you know, “not talking about it would suggest it’s icky”.

  • jomicur

    Here’s a little quote for you: “Way to twist my words into something I didn’t say. You must be a lawyer.” Sound familiar at all?

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    So have her cake and eat it too?

  • http://www.mommiedammit.com/ Mommie Dammit

    Way to be disingenuous, John. The point was privacy and the desire to stay away from the hounds of the press – not the hypocrisy you keep foisting into the conversation. But then you know that, don’t you. Never mind that the adults in the room learned long ago that respecting another person’s right to privacy trumps any juvenile need to delve into their bedrooms – you have your bone, and – like any terrier with bad habits – refuse to quit attacking it even after it’s broken your teeth.

    The woman has said all she wants to say on the subject. She is our friend. She works for our benefit. Why do you insist on disrespecting her when she has shown us nothing but? Enough already. Let’s try moving some of this ambition to something more worthy of your vitriol.

  • ComradeRutherford

    So you are eager to bash supporters for not being sufficiently gay to your personal standards. Got it.

  • jomicur

    I’m afraid you don’t get to define terms for the rest of us. Being in the closet means not being out, period. There are any number of celebrities who are unashamed of being gay but are not activists, and don’t make an issue of their sexuality. Nathan Lane and Jodie Foster come to mind immediately. But neither do celebrities like them thrust themselves into the middle of very public, high-profile gay equality events like gay weddings on prime time TV. Latifah is trying to have it both ways, and I can not and will not support that kind of opportunistic hypocrisy. Ever.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Now you’re talking!!!

  • Me

    Oh, I see.. so it’s a bigger scandal that someone who’s ALWAYS been supportive of gays and equal rights, who might be gay, be demonized and ridiculed for making a choice to keep her personal life PERSONAL… as in, no one else’s business.. but not a peep about the word FAGGOT being said during the “Same Love” performance and it not being bleeped out by the censors making it clear that it is an OK expression to use. Got it.
    You queens need to get your priorities checked and also your head checked while you’re at it.
    Not every gay person wants to or needs to be publicly out to be a model human being.

  • Strepsi

    A friend who comes over and scissors Oprah to reruns of ‘Beloved’.

  • Strepsi

    Cheers Comrade ! xoxo
    ALthough I do agree with some of the other posters that I am not really getting my panties in a bunch over Latifah since she is at least actively working for good. I’d prefer to focus on the haters….

  • ComradeRutherford

    Oh, Gayle King is ‘just a friend.’

  • ComradeRutherford

    Yes, I said that, but not that way you ‘interpreted’ it. And I didn’t say, “just because she’s closeted doesn’t mean she’s in the closet.” You made that up.

    There is a difference between ‘being in the closet’ and not publicly discussing one’s private life.

  • ComradeRutherford

    I don’t get the entire premise that every gay celebrity *must* publicly discuss their private life. Why can’t public people have even one shred of privacy?

  • jomicur

    Your exact words: “just because she doesn’t feel the need to trumpet her sex life on the six o’clock news” But you didn’t say that. Sure.

  • kingstonbears

    Latifah who? Oh right, the “Queen”. Guess that one’s solved.

  • mattydean

    Absolutely right. And as Queen Latifah is rabidly anti-gay and works for the Mormon church and Family Research Council we need to make sure she is outed immediately…….

    Oh wait, she actually supports the Gay Community constantly and is more vocal and is active than some out celebs? Then why don’t you freaking cry-babies shut the hell up and leave the poor woman alone?

  • jomicur

    No, dodging the issue when it is precisely the issue at hand, as if was on the Grammy show, is dishonest, not to say hypocritical. There are any number of people qualified to have performed those weddings; they are, you should pardon the expression, legion. Latifah made a deliberate decision to thrust herself into the middle of it all, then continued her policy of trying to dodge it. Like all closet cases, she is trying to have it both ways, and she is doing so with the support of people like you.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Way to twist my words into something I didn’t say. You must be a lawyer.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Ah, I can understand that, since I don’t watch TV or read magazines…

  • iamlegion

    Hmm. And answering a simple question with “none of your business” is “dishonest”. Try again.

  • Strepsi

    You sound like an alien who’s just come to Earth and never read a magazine or seen an interview on TV… who the hell ISN’T asked who they’re dating, how their wedding was, how’s their husband and kids, etc.? Precisely NO ONE, except those whom the media is complicit in keeping closeted.

  • kevinbenett

    What’s the problem? Does everyone that’s gay have to broadcast it? People need to mind their own business, she has a private life and would like to keep it that way. Humans “suck”.

  • Lance Grant

    LOL

  • Khrisma

    Regardless of her sexuality, Queen Latifah has always made it very clear that her personal life is her personal life. She’s an actor/singer. We don’t need to know her habits, her likes and dislikes, her favorite things, what she’s into, nor who she is into. She not being private -in the closet- because she’s gay, she’s being private because she’s a private person.

  • jomicur

    So every gay person who’s out “trumpets it on the six o’clock news.” Sure. And just because she’s closeted doesn’t mean she’s in the closet. Right. Of course. Got it.

  • Jeffrey Cleary

    This falls into the outing thing. Queen Latifah isn’t campaigning to discriminate against LGBT people. She is choosing to not be public. It’s her choice if she chooses to be out or not. If she is gay, I’d prefer her be out, but I’m not going to fault her for not being public about this. Now, Aaron Schock is a different matter altogether. Closted law-makers actively campaigning and voting against LGBT & Equal rights NEED TO BE OUTED BY THE MEDIA!

  • jomicur

    You’re absolutely 100% correct. Refusing to answer to a simple question honestly is “honesty.” Right. Got it. LOL!

  • ComradeRutherford

    I don’t quite get this argument. Why can’t Latifah NOT have to respond to public questions about her orientation? Why does it indicate that she’s ‘cowering in the closet’ just because she doesn’t feel the need to trumpet her sex life on the six o’clock news? What does it have to do with anything?

    I she went on a gay talk show where discussing one’s personal life was the point of the show, and then she refused to discuss it, then I’d see the point here. But as a random question it is inappropriate to even ask that.

    And why can’t she be bisexual? Why does it have to be either/or?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Okay Lance, perhaps I was speaking not as a gay man who has never met a gay person in his life, but rather as a national gay rights advocate who’s been doing this work for over twenty years and who has a lot of experience on these issues writ large. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a happy reason why people are in the closet.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I would agree that since she’s been so supportive it might put her in a different category than, say, Aaron Schock (who’s a 100% anti-gay congressman). But it is still awfully weird having someone closeted officiate at mass public gay weddings, and I think therefore worth a discussion. But I get your point and don’t disagree. That’s funny, I totally glossed over that you had mentioned Schock when I mentioned him! Only saw you mentioned him too when I re-read what you wrote :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Really, Howard Dean and his wife refused to acknowledge that they were married, and that’s why Mrs. Dean refused to attend social events? I don’t think so :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I usually call them traitors or simply big messes :)

  • Strepsi

    Have you ever met a straight peron who “hid” their wedding ring, removed all photos of her husband, and if a co-worker said “Are you married” cried “It’s NONE of your business!!!!” In my 40+ years I never have.

    I can see remaining closeted for fear (of losing your job, yourr benefits, of being beaten up). Aside from shame and fear, what are these many different reasons someone would stay in the closet?

  • Strepsi

    Bingo.

  • Jim Olson

    *cough* Gayle King *cough*

  • Strepsi

    Huh? Of course it’s up to her. I am not saying I have any opinion of her choices. But if 2 choices are on their face hypocritical, am I gonna judge? Yeah.

    However, do not forget that our most beloved and comfortable Out celebrities (Neil Patrick Harris, Zach Quinto, Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer) were all originally OUTED.

    There is much comfort in the closet; and I do want to increase the comfort level for people to leave it.

  • iamlegion

    Well, when “Random Celebrity’s Arm Candy” takes on the same social implications and responsibilities as “First Lady of the US”, I’ll give that argument some credence. And while some celebs do flaunt their every date night for a little boost in visibility, there’s no shortage of famous people who choose not to. Even for an entertainer or other public figure, you have no right to demand that kind of access to every aspect of their life _unless_ it has an impact on their public occupation. Taylor Swift writes a bunch of songs about her exes? Sure – ask her about those exes. A politician campaigns on a staunchly anti-gay platform, but is known to be closeted? Print that shit right up. But just _being_ public – or even expressing non-overtly-sexual support of LGBT issues – doesn’t give you the right to demand an answer on that person’s orientation.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Leave Latifah ALONE!

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  • Timothy Sipples

    By the way, yes, there have many many straight spouses who don’t “attend the Grammys.” Howard Dean’s wife, for example, wanted nothing whatsoever to do with public life and barely surfaced in the press, and then only under protest. She would have been a completely atypical, unorthodox First Lady, and that would have been delightful, frankly. Bess Truman couldn’t stand Washington and didn’t even live there much.

    The point is, I have no idea how QL’s partner feels. None of us do. I might even disagree with how QL’s partner feels. But how can I fault QL if that’s what’s going on — and it certainly could be what’s going on? It’s their relationship, not ours, and, importantly, not only Queen Latifah’s.

  • iamlegion

    Refusing to answer a question that she has categorically stated isn’t your business doesn’t count as “dishonesty”. You’re the only source of hyperbole here.

  • payingattention

    OK, I’m not, but I don’t think that forcing the issue for someone like her is necessarily positive. For the closeted people who are actually harming gay people by their actions (i.e., Rep. Schock), it’s their hypocrisy we are exposing, not necessarily their ‘gayness’.

  • Timothy Sipples

    I think you’re missing the point. You’ve leapt to an assumption that Queen Latifah is both a lesbian and opposed to making that fact known. Let’s assume the former. I think it’s a mistake to assume the latter. It denies all agency to her partner, and I think that’s wrong.

    Now, if Queen Latifah is opposed to letting her sexual orientation be publicly known despite her partner’s willingness, OK, you’ve got a fair point. But we don’t know that, do we? And how could we possibly know why her partner is opposed if she’s opposed, or what their relationship is like? Why is any of that anybody’s business except theirs? And what is Queen Latifah supposed to do if her partner is opposed? Dissolve their relationship? Unilaterally take action without agreement? No, and no, I’d say. Even if my spouse were “wrong,” the status quo is where matters would remain. Or is the price of coming out the breakup of loving, long-term relationships? Really?

    In short, there are at least two people involved in coming out, and I think it’s wrong not to grant agency to the unknown partner, even if she is “wrong” in our opinion.

    By the way, I’ve heard QL interviewed on this general subject, and she is a force for good.

  • Facebook User

    I think she can have a private life and be a celebrity. But you can’t have a private life because you want to hide your sexuality and then insert yourself into a scenario like the ones at the Grammy’s and still insist you want privacy.

  • Facebook User

    If your partner being outed is a huge concern, one should most prolly decline when the opportunity to be involved in such a gay rights moment is posed to them….

  • Facebook User

    On the scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is “Not a hypocrite” and 10 is Aaron Schock, Latifah is 6 in this scenario… She’s seemingly a nice person, but with this behavior, she’s no friend to me.

  • jomicur

    ” Not every LGBT person _has_ to be an out & loud campaigner.” So, expecting simple honesty from her is the same thing as expecting her to “be an out & loud campaigner”? Really? The increasingly preposterous hyperbole people arguing your position are using is a clear indication how indefensible your position is.

  • Lance Grant

    So then EVERY gay person must feel this way simply because you do?

  • Facebook User

    Oprah didn’t show up and officiate any same sex marriages that I’m aware of…

  • jomicur

    But she thinks other people should talk about theirs, and is making a pretty penny urging them to do so on her show. Ever hear the expression “fair’s fair”?

  • jomicur

    Or you. Buy a clue before you accuse other people of being clueless.

  • jomicur

    1) You don’t get to decide what “most will agree.” You’re nowhere near that important or that knowledgeable.

    2) I know this is terribly difficult for people like you to grasp, but this is not about validation, it’s about honesty and decency. “That’s not my department” simply isn’t a valid argument when it comes to human rights.

  • Teatime

    Then conversely, you’re not a “bad friend” of the gay community if you’re actually gay. That’s a term for straight people — Jimmy LaSalvia Christopher Barron.

  • Clem

    The problem is also the media who goes along with this idea that it’s shameful to reveal that someone might be gay. More and more the media that covers celebrities is afraid of losing access, so they do what a star’s publicist wants. That wasn’t always the case. I remember reading a Rolling Stone interview with Queen Latifah when her first CD came out in the late 80s, and the reporter noted that her “friend” who was tagging along in the car was reading Rubyfruit Jungle. You would never see a detail like that revealed today in an interview with a closeted celebrity.

  • Teatime

    Oh, the humanity! No celebrity owe “our” “your” community anything. And that’s the problem, looking for validation from a celebrity and you don’t have to read Ayn Rand to get that. Further, most will agree that the most direct impact on
    children lives is their immediate environment (family, community,
    school, etc.) — Not celebrities!!!

  • Teatime

    She has said, “You” can talk about your marriage – gay or straight – but she is not going to talk about hers. She thinks it’s something “private” about her own life.

  • Clem

    I agree. I also hate the way celebrities hide behind the privacy argument because it’s hypocritical. Most of them, including Queen Latifah, talk about everything else in their life–parents, siblings, relatives who got into trouble or had drug problems, hardships growing up, etc. Then the moment someone asks who they’re dating, and they scream “that’s private”. If you want a truly private life, don’t go into a business like music or acting.

  • jomicur

    It’s not a matter of celebrities owing us, as individuals, anything at all. But they do owe our community, and our community’s young members and for that matter all of humanity something. What they owe is simple honesty and decency. Everyone owes everyone else that. It’s too bad you don’t think so. Been reading a lot of Ayn Rand?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Correct, and that was my point. When heterosexuals are involved, she doesn’t consider it “private” to discuss their marriages. But when gay people are involved, suddenly she thinks it’s something “private” that shouldn’t be discussed. Thus, she’s suggesting that it’s worse to be gay.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah, I was a bit surprised when he came out, that he hadn’t already been out.

  • Teatime

    BS – she has spoke with guests about their marriage – Alfred Woodard.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Oh, I think most of us don’t come out for negative reasons. Not for positive ones. I didn’t come out because I was afraid of losing my family, my job and my friends. It was absolutely positively for shame.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    But as I noted above, you can’t be an “ally” of the gay community if you’re actually “gay.” If doesn’t work that way. An ally is someone who isn’t what you are, but they’re supportive.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Bingo. No guest will ever talk about being married, divorced, or having a bf or gf. Because they would be icky.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Last time I checked, my mom and dad don’t hide the fact that they’re married, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a conversation with mom my and dad about how they “sleep” together, thank God. :) It’s only when the gay question comes up that suddenly we pretend that this is all about sex. It’s not about sex when the President shows up at an event with his wife. And he’s not afraid to tell people she exists. And he doesn’t get all upset and demand his right to privacy when they ask him if the woman standing next to him at the WH Christmas Party is his wife. :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    If you’re straight, your wife wouldn’t be afraid of attending the Grammys. And if you’re a closet case afraid of losing your job, you don’t date Queen Latifah.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    You’re not a “good friend” of the gay community if you’re actually gay. That’s a term for straight people. How can a gay person be a “gay ally”?

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Speak for yourself.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I was just about to say the same thing to you.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Okay, a demi-mass.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Huh?

  • Teatime

    It is when you think someone owes you something because of the simply fact that they are a “celebrity”. Again QL, Kevin Spacey, John Travolta, or any other celebrity owes “you” or me nothing.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Uh huh. I’m celebrity crazy! That’s it!

  • Teatime

    And that says so much about you! Celebrity driven comes to mind.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    You’re right I do only care because she’s a celebrity. That’s the whole fucking point.

  • Teatime

    Assuming she is hiding something, why do you care? You only care because she is a celebrity. You buy her album, you watch her movies or talk-show or YOU DON’T. She owns you and everyone else absolutely nothing else. In the words of Sir Charles [...I'm not your role model. Your family, friends, church, school, etc. are your role models].

  • Eileen Bolender

    I wish there was this much “outrage” over Oprah.

  • Thom Allen

    “. . . I find it arrogant and presumptuous of you . . .” Pot, meet kettle.

  • Thom Allen

    People in the entertainment business and other celebrities may want a private life, but those who have a brain realize that that’s NOT possible. Paparazzi follow them, there are celebrity magazines, print and online, that have nothing but info on celebrities and gossip. The news media often features them. Look at Lohan, Bieber, Michael Jackson, Elvis, the Beatles, the Kardashians,The OJ Simpson trial. And QL wants privacy? Too bad, when she accepted her stardom, her privacy got flushed away. No, she doesn’t have to come out, but I, for one, don’t want to hear her, or others in her position whine that they have no privacy. It goes with the territory along with the privilege, popularity, power and high pay.,

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    No it doesn’t, but it does give you influence that others don’t have. So why not use it for good?

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    Being a celebrity doesn’t obligate one to save society.

  • TonyT

    Sorry. She get’s to come out whenever and however she wants.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    And you obviously think highly of your own. Not sure what you’re getting at. You just don’t like what I have to say. If you want me to agree with you it’s not going to happen. I’m not militant – it’s common sense. She’s hiding something on purpose, actively, and that’s not right. She doesn’t need to, especially when it can help others.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    How does it not imply shame? If you are not open about something like your sexuality, then you are hiding something. No straight person is not telling people they’re straight. They just say they have a boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever the case is. Sure they may not want to divulge details about that person, and they can try to hide that person from the public eye to the best of their ability but fundamentally they are open about who they are. QL dances around the subject. By not saying anything, about who she is in love with, she’s projecting shame. If it were no big deal, if she had nothing to hide, then she’d say “my girlfriend” in interviews or whatever. And not make a big deal about it. But if you ACTIVELY dance around the subject then you have something to hide.

  • Lance Grant

    It’s better if you learned to chose your words a little more wisely. :)

  • Lance Grant

    I am so over this militant style homoattitude. LOL It’s obvious you think very highly of your own opinion, so much so that anyone who disagrees with it is automatically incorrect. Have at it! The LGBT community will implode from this type of intolerance and bigotry. Yes, us gays can be bigots too. ^proof.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    When you are a celebrity you enter the public eye. That’s part of the deal. When you want mass attention, it doesn’t just get filtered the exact way you want it to – that’s a fantasy. And nor should it. With great power comes great responsibility.

  • Lance Grant

    You keep repeating that little mantra “hiding it implies shame”. No, it really doesn’t. We all come out of the closet differently and for many different reasons. Why are you so hell bent on trying to force someone to come out before they are ready?

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    Fine. A mass wedding in which the majority of the couples shown on television were same-sex couples, and that featured a pro-gay anthem with lyrics wishing two *uncles* could marry each other. Better?

  • Lance Grant

    Why? Why is that your opinion of someone else’s life and choices should be the only thing that matters? Regardless of celebrity status, it is ultimately up to her.

  • Lance Grant

    Yes, you can… MANY celebrities do.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    You can use the “it’s all about you” argument with me all you want – not gonna phase or piss me off. I am right. If you can list some how we, as a society, can benefit form celebrities being in the closet, I’m all ears.

  • Lance Grant

    It wasn’t a “mass gay wedding”. That would imply that ALL those getting married were gay. They were not.

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    Of course it is up to QL when and if she ever comes out, but why select her to officiate this very public, mass gay wedding when they could have had a better fit with any number of out musical performers.? Both she and the people who chose her knew it would be controversial, so they must have welcomed it.

  • Jonas Grumby

    Good. Piss ‘em off every chance you get.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    Well, if you don’t see any ‘benefits of the closet’ there couldn’t possibly be any.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    Yeah, Queen Latifa is directly responsible for kids being “bullied, embarrassed and killed on a daily basis around the world” because she isn’t out.

    Hyperbole doesn’t begin to describe what you wrote.

  • emjayay

    Dana Elaine Owens (probably, going by appearances, maybe actually genetically half white) grew up in what I assume was basically black culture in Newark, raised as a Baptist. She was a power forward on her high school’s girls basketball team, and also sang a song from The Wiz in a high school play. She went out with some guy as an adult. In 2008 it was rumored that a rap albumn she was going to put out would be named “The ‘L’ Word”. When asked about the rumor, she stated it was her attempt to “mess with people’s heads” referring to rumors that she is lesbian.

    Just a few bits from her Wikipedia entry. I thought she was out already myself.

    Anyway, her saying “we” at the Grammy’s was pretty close. I’m sure everyone assumes. But it’s not 1970 (the year she was born). She’s been out of the ghetto long enough. She lives in Beverly Hills. If there was any doubt, Ellen has shown the way a long time ago.

    There are two sides to this, but John is right.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Support is nice, but again, hiding implies shame. There were plenty of other people there to send a positive message from the straight community – they didn’t need her to do that. In fact, the singers are both straight. So what bigger picture? The benefits of the closet? I don’t’ see any there.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    You know, we can argue about the Queen Latifa’s in the world once we deal with the people that hate us. Like the governments of Russia, India, Nigeria, Uganda for starters. Or if that’s too much, let’s focus upon getting same-sex marriage legal across the nation and ENDA the law of the land.

    After that, feel free to attack people who are otherwise our friends but who choose not to disclose their orientation for what may be very good reasons.

    Sheesh.

  • payingattention

    I disagree. I still think her demonstration of support makes her a good model. She is modeling acceptance rather than bullying. Maybe she feels her positive message could be distorted and dismissed if she were identified as ‘oh, well, one of *those* people’. There’s a bigger picture here.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    If she wants a private life then don’t’ be a celebrity. You can’t have both.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    If she weren’t a public figure I’d agree. If she wants to retire into private life – that’s her business. As a celebrity, her hiding is painful and shaming.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    That’s convenient for her. Meanwhile gay kids are bullied, embarrassed and killed on a daily basis around the world – hiding it implies it’s shameful. So while she takes her time from her ivory tower, there are people dying. There is no timeline for this that’s acceptable.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Not openly stating it implies that there is shame in it. Sure, she’s not actively harming the gay community on purpose, but when people don’t come out they’re still hiding somewhat. I understand her desire for a private life but she chose to be a celebrity, and again, straight celebrities have no issues saying they’re straight, so if she were truly comfortable with herself she’d have no issues stating it. Until she does come right out and say it, she’s harming the gay community.

  • Timothy Sipples

    Hang on a second. Shouldn’t this decision be something Queen Latifah and her partner must agree on? Isn’t it entirely possible Queen Latifah is all in favor of shouting from the rooftops (or at least at the Grammys), but her partner is not, for whatever reason, “misguided” or otherwise?

    I don’t make significant decisions without asking my wife first. Usually we agree, but if we disagree we discuss it. And if we still disagree, I don’t always (or even usually) get my way, even if I’m right. :) And that’s exactly as it should be.

  • Indigo

    OMG! I am so out-of-touch I’m embarassed. I didn’t know Queen Latifah was closeted. My bad!

  • iamlegion

    I think you’re wrong, John. I think she’s sending out a message that it’s none of your fucking business who she sleeps with. Not every LGBT person _has_ to be an out & loud campaigner. Some people, even in the entertainment biz, actually _want_ to have a private part of their lives, and the very quote you pull from her seems to support that conclusion.

  • HereinDC

    And on her show….she will never ever talk about her love life. No guest is EVER allowed to bring up anything about her sex life or about her partner.

  • Strepsi

    It’s not one’s right to privacy, it’s the hypocrisy. You can not go around saying it’s great to be openly gay, but not be openly gay yourself.

    Just as I blow a gasket when straight people accuse us of ‘flaunting it’ — when ever call to their spouse, photo on their desk, wedding ring and drawings by their kid flaunt thir straight sexuality — the opposite is true. Straight people and openly gay people do NOT have a problem telling you they are straight or their marital status. Only closeted gay people do.

  • Lance Grant

    Firstly, I find it arrogant and presumptuous of you to assume that I think being gay is “shameful”. I am out and very proud. Secondly, you are just proving my point. You’re only showing your intolerance for a decision that should be QL’s ALONE! If she wants to keep her PRIVATE life private, then she has ever right and we as a group that goes around preaching “tolerance” should stand by her decision to do so.

  • Lawerence Collins

    That would be your perception. I guess you got nothing from the article above, unless you’re one of those who sees something shameful about being gay. I’d always been a huge supporter of hers, even when friends used to put her down. Then the era of bullied kids killing themselves came to into being. Kids kill themselves because they’ve bought into, who they are is bad, wrong, defective. Those living in glass closets could be so helpful in showing that being LGBT is those things, but just being human! I refuse to watch her show, or support anything she does. Just like Jody Foster, who I’d grown up watching and admiring, until she came out, then went back in.
    What message does that send! No one should be ashamed of who they are.

  • payingattention

    Surely there must be value in her demonstrating, if nothing else, being a strong ally, no matter what her own orientation. She has to be allowed her own timeline.

  • Facebook User

    Agreed. 100%.

  • Lance Grant

    Her life, her business. When did we become such an intolerant community?

  • Krusher

    I’m looking forward to the day when nobody cares what anybody else’s sexual orientation is.

  • bkmn

    These days the number of one’s fan base that might desert them because of coming out is small and dropping.

    One more reason to come out QL.

  • AngelaChanning

    Brian Boitano was on Piers Morgan last night and he discussed his recent coming out as a difficult process. I honestly thought Piers was going to snap with something like “We knew! Everyone knew! It’s no big deal! You are a figure skater for Christ sakes!” I think in some of these cases, celebrities worry about their endorsements and deals, which makes it a bit worse. It is one thing for the average person to remain in the closet to remain employed or to keep housing, it is another to maintain a luxurious lifestyle and to continue to accumulate wealth.

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