January 27, 2014 | by Kevin Naff
Queen Latifah can’t change, even if she tried

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6OVxPiZQDc

Spoiling an otherwise beautiful moment during last night’s Grammy Awards marriage ceremony was the presence of Queen Latifah, who presided over the mass nuptials on live TV.

Included among the 33 pairs that were married during the telecast were many gay and lesbian couples. It was a momentous spectacle — the weddings of gay and lesbian couples being celebrated on a nationally televised awards show while the crowd cheered and cried. The times have certainly changed from the days when LGBT people were rendered invisible in pop culture.

But Latifah’s involvement illustrates just how far we still have to go toward full equality and true mass acceptance. Latifah is a closeted singer/actress, a fact confirmed over the years by several colleagues and personal friends and in photos snapped by paparazzi of Latifah with her partner.

Her presence on that stage was baffling. Was it a tacit acknowledgement that she’s gay? Does she think it’s enough for her to make carefully scripted pro-gay appearances without having to actually come out?

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.

It’s akin to the farce of President Obama granting an exclusive interview announcing his historic support of marriage equality to Robin Roberts, who at the time was also in the closet. There are plenty of openly LGBT journalists who should have been given that honor.

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?

Queen Latifah can’t change, even if she tried.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

131 Comments
  • Bitch bye, why do you have to dig in and find some negativity in a gesture of love equality and progress. I expect this from Fox News but not from the Blade. Some people just don't have common sense.

  • This article is disgusting and is only probing hate for someone who supports us. I hope you take it down.

  • This article is horrible. It would have been selfish for her to “come out” at this event. This was about equality, not Queen Latifah’s sexual preferences. Your article is shallow and backwards thinking.

  • Joseph Aleksandar Hovanic

    If people aren't actively trying to hurt us or interfere with our lives, we have no business commenting on their personal relationships. It's none of our business.

  • Why does it matter if she has come out or not? Is she out spreading hate? No. I don’t announce to my waitress that I am gay, and I don’t announce to most people that I am gay unless I am trying to sleep with them. It’s a personal issue. If she wants to share it with the world, great. If not, she is keeping HER relationship and HER sexuality to herself but still showing support for equality.

    As Matt said – your article is a disgusting hate article. Your words are filth.

  • This was inevitable. Both Latifah and the show’s producer had to know that this discussion would follow. If Latifah doesn’t want her sexuality obsessed about, she shouldn’t do things like speak at Long Beach Pride and say “you all are my people” and then instantly issue a denial that she came out of the closet. And if she doesn’t want her sexuality obsessed about, she shouldn’t take the role of officiant in one of the most publicized shows of support for marriage equality in American history. If you don’t want the heat, don’t go into the kitchen.

    • So she she has no right to call human beings (that were also Americans) her people? Are they not her people? I think that what many are disgusted by is not the discussion of her sexuality, but rather the writers belief that he or anyone has the right to push someone out of the closet or to even put them in (I mean in the sense that the person may not be gay). Marriage equality is not for gay people, in the same sense civil rights movement was not just for minorities, it is something that everyone or anyone can have an opinion about and should be allowed to express it.

  • I hate that people keep forgetting this is a free country. She can say and act how she wants. She can be in the closet, out of the closet, hell, there doesn't even need to be a closet. Let people support gay rights in there own way on their own time. I love her gay or straight, closeted or not. What goes on in someone else's bedroom is no business of yours. Live and let Live!!!

  • Kevin, Kevin, Kevin- you have written an article on behalf of a publication dedicated to LGBTQ individuals and have completely missed the point of the performance last night. If you're not gay, let me explain it to you in terms that you might understand. EXPECTING SOMEONE TO COME OUT OF THE CLOSET TO CONFORM TO YOUR IDEA OF WHAT THEY SHOULD BE IS WRONG! Queen Latifah may be a homosexual woman. Who cares? If she is she is. If she's not, she's still an ally. The performance last night was meant to promote acceptance. That's all. The song is about loving people no matter who or what they are. So, I accept you for being close-minded and hope that The Blade pulls your article down. Your nasty little piece won't even touch on a fraction of the good that Queen Latifah has done for the gay community. Get a clue.

  • It's someone's decision not everyone else's. The freedom to be out is exactly as important as the freedom to not be.

  • Well said, Kevin! Thank you!!!

  • I love how people think the Editor in Chief will pull down his own opinion piece. I mean, if you’re arguing that Latifah has the right to choose to live in the closet, then surely he’s entitled to an opinion at his newspaper about it.

  • Josué Castilleja

    stupid article. QL is living the life she wants (with her partner) and that is all she needs to do

  • She has never been in the closet….. she is who she is; human being, like every other human being in the world. She should not have to scream her sexuality. She is a lesbian, the world already knows this…… so what! Let her live her life!

  • I have to agree Matt. It is none of anyone's business how Latifah defines herself or how much she wants to share about her private life. Let the judgements of others stop~ with the LGBT community setting the example.

  • I'm pretty disgusted by this article. Whether Queen Latifah chooses to come out of the closet is her own damn business. It certainly isn't her job, responsibility, or obligation to come out. Do us a favor Mr. Naff……don't speak for us, because I know for a freakin' fact you certainly don't speak for me. Let Queen do her….you do you boo.

    ……that's all.

  • Paula Dea Creo Bannerman

    I think the writer was jealous he couldnt be on stage next to her… It shouldn't even matter who blabs about what their sexual interest in.. People got to respect, that not everybody has to be out there telling the world who they sleep with.

  • BRAVO IN EXCELSIS, Kevin!!!!! May we ask the outraged herd leaping at your throat in her defense just two questions: 1. If she were a light-skinned black woman, able to pass for white, who has repeatedly refused to acknowledge her race, insisting "it's nobody's business," what would you think of her then? 2. Have you read Anderson Cooper's answer to the question of why it is important for privileged, high profile celebrities to acknowledge their orientation, emphasis mine: "I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. IT’S BECOME CLEAR TO ME THAT BY REMAINING SILENT ON CERTAIN ASPECTS OF MY PERSONAL LIFE FOR SO LONG, I HAVE GIVEN SOME THE MISTAKEN IMPRESSION THAT I AM TRYING TO HIDE SOMETHING—SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE, ASHAMED OR EVEN AFRAID. This is distressing because it is simply not true. I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, THE TIDE OF HISTORY ONLY ADVANCES WHEN PEOPLE MAKE THEMSELVES FULLY VISIBLE. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe THERE IS VALUE IN MAKING CLEAR WHERE I STAND. The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud. I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. IN A PERFECT WORLD, I DON'T THINK IT'S ANYONE ELSE'S BUSINESS, BUT I DO THINK THERE IS VALUE IN STANDING UP AND BEING COUNTED. I’M NOT AN ACTIVIST, BUT I AM A HUMAN BEING AND I DON'T GIVE THAT UP BY BEING A JOURNALIST. I love, and I am loved. In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. BUT I DO THINK VISIBILITY IS IMPORTANT, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.”

  • BRAVO IN EXCELSIS, Kevin!!!!! May we ask the outraged herd leaping at your throat in her defense just two questions: 1. If she were a light-skinned black woman, able to pass for white, who has repeatedly refused to acknowledge her race, insisting “it’s nobody’s business,” what would you think of her then? 2. Have you read Anderson Cooper’s answer to the question of why it is important for privileged, high profile celebrities to acknowledge their orientation, emphasis mine: “I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. IT’S BECOME CLEAR TO ME THAT BY REMAINING SILENT ON CERTAIN ASPECTS OF MY PERSONAL LIFE FOR SO LONG, I HAVE GIVEN SOME THE MISTAKEN IMPRESSION THAT I AM TRYING TO HIDE SOMETHING—SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE, ASHAMED OR EVEN AFRAID. This is distressing because it is simply not true. I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, THE TIDE OF HISTORY ONLY ADVANCES WHEN PEOPLE MAKE THEMSELVES FULLY VISIBLE. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe THERE IS VALUE IN MAKING CLEAR WHERE I STAND. The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud. I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. IN A PERFECT WORLD, I DON’T THINK IT’S ANYONE ELSE’S BUSINESS, BUT I DO THINK THERE IS VALUE IN STANDING UP AND BEING COUNTED. I’M NOT AN ACTIVIST, BUT I AM A HUMAN BEING AND I DON’T GIVE THAT UP BY BEING A JOURNALIST. I love, and I am loved. In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. BUT I DO THINK VISIBILITY IS IMPORTANT, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.”

  • Why do we have to make some Huge announcement about who we love in order to live and not be ridiculed by people that are suppose to be of like mind?

  • I am so disappointed in this article. It is in poor taste and I agree with fellow posters–it could alienate a HUGE supporter.

  • Wow, I didn't realize the Blade was hurting for readership they would purposely write such an inflammatory article filled with hate and ideals not supported by your newspaper or the DC community. Why can't QL be left to her own timeline? I love the part that because the author's "personal friends" have heard that she is a lesbian she must be! Really? Maybe the author was outed and feels the needs to out others? (see what I did there, I speculated….just like you did) Maybe she is Bi….I know I know, some gays don't believe in that either. Point being, as others have pointed out – not cool. Not what we as a community stand for.

  • Really?! After what you saw on a ntionally televised awards show last evening, you pull that trash from it? It's absurd that you believe you get to decide when people should "come out" of the "closet." Whether or not she is gay, and if she chooses to identify herself as part of our community publicly is quite frankly none of your damn business. Your abusive use of your position with an otherwise great publication like The Blade, to broadcast your bitter and self righteous views, is at the very core of why so many of us out there find it incredibly hard to accept ourselves into this gay "community." If you desire, so deeply to destroy so many closet doors, become a home remodeler, and stop being one of the stereotypes that keep so many people from being themselves.

  • I agree Michael. Who cares if someone makes a public declaration as long as they are supportive to the community? Now as for the closeted jerks who are constantly working to undermine marriage equality and civil rights I am not as understanding.

  • Jennifer Litton Tidd

    “Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up and start to fight.” Harvey Milk

    I think the most disturbing thing I am seeing repeated over and over again in this comment thread is people saying she doesn't have to reveal the details of her sex life or her sexuality. That shows an insidious form of homophobia which I find sad. I am a straight woman who is openly straight. If I talk openly about my husband or my life with him, is that me "revealing the details of my sex life?" Or is it just talking about my life? Why is it that straight people talking about our relationships or lives aren't talking about our sex lives but as soon as gay people, male or female, speak openly about their relationships, the are "revealing their sex lives?" Isn't that in fact diminishing gay people and their relationships to their sex act, which is in effect, precisely what the haters do?

    I don't know one way or the other about Queen Latifah personally. I am more disturbed by the comments on this thread.

    • This comment has the flaw, as does the article, that these things are peoples choices! No straight person ever HAS to make a declaration of their heterosexuality, no heterosexual person HAS to talk about their sex life or activity, no heterosexual person HAS to put their personal privacy (or belief) second to that of the entire orientation, and neither should a homo or bi sexual person. Also you and another commentor tag along someone else’s philosophy to chain her down with, but are every heterosexual chained down with every quote on heterosexuality by a heterosexual? The thing this article, and many of its supporters, have to take into the account is this is a person with all the rights and liberties of every person no matter how famous she is and no matter her sexual orientation. It is not disturbing to say that nor insidious or sad, no that would be to force people to live every aspect of their life how you choose and to follow your moral. Isn’t that the plight of the gay community.

  • I think Josh Barro sums up best exactly why gay celebrities have an obligation to be out that normal people don't.

  • While I wish she'd stand up and be open about her sexuality, it's her choice, not ours, and certainly not the Washington Blade's. We should be supportive and accepting, no matter what. Mr. Naff, I appreciate what you were trying to accomplish here, but your approach is judgmental and probably not appropriate for an LGBT publication like this one.

  • Jennifer Litton Tidd

    Why is it that straight people talking about our marriages or relationships are not "revealing the details of our sex lives," but if a gay person speaks of a spouse or partner, they are "revealing the details of their sex lives?" Is it not employing the same mentality of haters, to diminish gay relationships to only their sex acts? I talk about my husband and it's perfectly acceptable anywhere, but if Queen Latifah or any gay talks about his/her same sex spouse, then that person is revealing something deeply personal or sexual? Knowing she has a female partner tells me not a single thing about her sex life.

  • I feel sorry for you. To watch such a ground breaking, heartfelt, supportive, beautiful scene that surely gave lgbti people all over the world a glimpse of how things should be (and will be); to see people in the audience moved to tears and imagine the millions equally touched in the privacy of their living rooms; to imagine what doors could have been opened in that moment for family members to embrace their lgbti members; and have such a positive experience marred, for you, by the fact that the joy-filled, tearful, celebratory and supportive person narrating it hasn’t publicly declared themselves lesbian…I truly feel compassion for you.

  • When did it become okay to push and force people out of the closet? That's a personal choice that no one should EVER make for someone else. Even with a celebrity. Famous or not, gay or not, we can't attack someone like this. We shouldn't attack someone like this. Anyone still in the closet has their own reasons for being in there. We don't always know those reasons. Even if she's just our ally; that's something to be grateful for because its important and makes a difference. Criticizing someone isn't gonna make them want to be an ally or be supportive of our community. The last thing we need is to be hateful within our own community, I think we deal with it enough from people outside of it.

  • Was something similar written about Aaron Rogers 3 weeks ago?? Seems to me he was given a big fat pass. This article is bullshit. It's commonly known in LA she's gay. Just like for years it was commonly known Wanda was gay before she officially came out in Jay Leno.

  • I think it was bad taste having a closeted person over see weddings of same sex couples as well. Don't particularly care if you don't agree or otherwise.
    I found the whole thing to ve incredibly tacky anyway.
    Nobody has the right to tell her how to live or love, or with who, or why. The same can also be said, you don't have the right to tell us how we process or accept her performing this dog and pony show as well.

  • How is Kevin's article at ALL Productive? Don't we want to ensure we pass along to our children what we've learned through this struggle, and that is to NOT judge like we've been judged??? I don't see at all how this is a productive means to the debate, and I think Anderson would agree based on the comments you quoted.

    It was a very hateful article that should not represent the gay community. PULL IT.

  • Edward Burgertron

    Shame on the author of this article. Shame, shame, shame. I guess we will have to wait for all of the bitter old queens to die before we can have true equality.

  • She's supportive of us, well-liked by the public, and has a great smile.

    What else matters?

    No, I mean it, Kevin Naff: does the nonsense you cite really matter?

  • Anderson would agree, Mr. Klingsick? Try taking a course in Reading for Comprehension. You wanna talk about hate? How about SELF-hate,Sir? But how convenient of you to ignore my first question—would you be defending her if she were denying her race?

  • In the words of Queen Latifah, I've "had it up 2 here" with the community's constant need to "out" someone to better serve the cause.

  • This seems really harsh…t's not any body's business about Queen Latifah for one who knows how she totally ID's maybe she's with a woman now and is Bi , not exactly an easy classification to share

  • I have no idea why you think that the fact we're defending our right against bullies is somehow homophobic. You're missing the point completely (probably because you haven't experienced it being a straight woman). There can be very serious consequences to sharing your personal life as a gay person that are not completely within our control. While I agree with your points in theory (that it shouldn't matter, etc.), we aren't there in reality and it takes time. No one should be forced (or bullied in the instance of Kevin's article) to do so before they are ready.

  • Mr Naff takes great pleasure in that old, tired hetero game of attempting to "out" prominent artists. His gross attempt only succeeded in displaying his total lack of class!

  • Michael Bedwell. Yes, if it would be dangerous, or there were personal implications to it, I would not hold anything against her personal decision to deny her race. How can you presume there are not other reasons why she has not publicly announced her sexuality. You are being very presumptive saying it's self-hate? You are exactly the kind of gay bully that drives me completely insane. Try support, not bullying. Your tone and Anderson's tone are completely different, and it is sad you don't see it.

  • Shantai Yelverton

    This is an amazing performance and I'm thankful that you posted it. However, the only thing that could have SPOILED this performance for me is YOUR ARTICLE that accompanies it. NO ONE has to publicly announce their sexual orientation. It is a choice and it's really messed up that its used as a shaming tactic for the LGBTQ community.

  • What everyone else has said. Let her come out (if she wants to) in her own damn time. She has never HARMED the community. I agree this article is disgusting.

  • Jethro, if you think sayiing that PRIVILEGED, RICH CELEBRITIES have a responsibility to send the message to emerging gay youth and those that bully them that gay is good IS bullying you were already insane. But enjoy the freedoms you have today, like Latifah, while standing on the backs of those who couldn't pass for straight, and so fought. What a great way she and those like you are repaying that debt. "Gay brothers and sisters, you must come out. Once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of [kids scared by the forces of homophobia]. – Harvey Milk.

  • I find the authors attitude of "if you don't share my point of view than I'm against you" disgusting. The author is, in my book, no different than the anti-gay community that we have been fighting against for so long. This is about acceptance for individuality, not oppression for not following your self righteous ideals.

  • What do you mean by calling me Jethro? I don't get it? Is that supposed to imply something about level of education, or race or what? Dude, you need to pull it together. If you think you are anywhere near a harvey milk or a anderson cooper, you need to get a serious reality check.

  • this article makes me sick.

  • I kind of thought the same thing. I thought it was ironic. But im straight, so i dont claim to know whats its like to be gay. Its a pretty accepted fact that she is gay correct? Its her life though. But i can see where ur coming from.

  • As my friend Joe noted – this was a wedding of both Gay and STRAIGHT people! (Not to mention that there were 33 couples, not 34 which is a significant and representative number! — try getting your facts – UH – Straight!)

    I'm very proud of the gay community in DC for standing up for Love and standing up to the obtrusive, mean spirited rhetoric that is spewed by some. Unfortunately Mr. Neff isn't old… Hopefully the editorial review board will do something about his inappropriate conduct!

  • How do you and or the gay community feel about people who dont come out? Famous w money and influence vs not, age of person and so forth? Asking in a curious non judgemental way.

  • So disappointed I followed this link. Can't say what hasn't already been said. This was a terrible article, pulling a negative out of a positive.

  • she was the pick for the West Hollywood Halloween Parade, she was the top entertainer for the Long Beach Pride Festival (bigger than the L

  • This piece is so shamefully wrong and so blatantly intolerant. I did not come out to meet the expectations of others. I did it because it was the right thing for ME and allowed me to live MY life the way I wanted to live it.

    As a 64 year old, gay man who has been out since age 23, I’m more than a little sick of those who feel entitled to tell others how to live their lives. It is as disgusting to me as Bible thumpers telling me what is right and wrong with my life.

    For me, the fact that I am able to be open about being gay has been liberating. It has allowed me to help others by being an easily identifiable resource for those needing to talk and an advocate for those who cannot do so for themselves. I see my ability to be open, based on both my emotional/mental makeup and my environment (primarily my accepting and supportive family) to be a blessing.

    On the other hand, my decades of work in the community has taught me that not everyone is, in fact many are not, similarly blessed with the circumstances I am fortunate enough to have. So, I encourage people to try to be open as much as possible by telling them about freedom it gives but respect individual choices as long as people are not hypocritical.

    Choosing to earn a living in the public arena does NOT mean opening the details of your private life to public scrutiny. As long as the individual does not use her/his public status to harm or impede the rights of LGBT people or in any other way act hypocritically, s/he deserves her/his privacy.

    The fact that anyone publicly supports LGBT equality should be applauded not nit picked because your personal expectations want to deduct style points.

    Stay the hell out of other folks business and work on improving your own life. If you feel the need to engage in “community work”, help the needy and less blessed.

  • Wrong…she is an example to black youth and to parents that still us l gays as diseased and sick …half of Africa wants us dead…how can a closeted giant Lesbian pretending not to be gay be okay?

  • Personally, I do not care what Queen Latifah's sexual orientation is. She can be whatever and whomever she wants to be when she wants to be it. If she is gay, straight or bisexual, I would hope that one day she feels supported and comfortable enough to reveal that to the world in her own time. That is the whole point of the equality movement. We are all part of the human tapestry. Last night's performance was only one thing, beautiful. It is none of my business with whom Queen Latifah is sharing her bed and frankly, none of any of our business to tell the truth. The only thing that I am concerned with regarding her involvement in her performance is the fact that she presided over a wonderful moment. Please have the common sense to in the future to remember that it is not your place to decide when someone decides to come out of the closet.

  • Over 150,000 gay youth in 2013 called a suicide hot line, lots more didn't and died…black youth in America needs people like Queen Latifah to set an example whether she comes out about her 12 year relationship or not

  • This article is terrible. The Blade should be sadden that they allowed this to be written.

  • Why is it that public acknowledgment of your sexual orientation is so vehemently downcast when a celebrity neither confirms or denies the accusation? It is after all an accusation made by many. I don't see people going around asking celebrities like Leonardo or Ben to come out. They don't walk around with the straight flag and parade around, it is known they are straight and they never had to come out of the straight closet. This is friggin 2014, and closets are only for clothes. It's time to grow p and accept the fact that there are straight people and gay people and neither should have to come out, they should just be who they are.

  • To be completely honest, most of the people of color her age I know aren't what they call "white boy" out to their family/work and such, or they are just now coming out. Seriously, a lot of times coming out means something different for people who grew up in protected classes. I think it's important to have an analysis beyond money before shading people's decisions to or not to come out. Bottom line, we don't know her life and we have no right to judge.

    • Very well put, Tiffany, addressing the nuance so well. Latifah being Latifah, even Latifah, may have people and family in her life from whom she feels she needs to maintain that opaque. And that is sad but it is still a reality for some people. Yes, I think Queen Latifah is great, yes, I was sorry to see a closeted person chosen to have such a role in the beautiful ceremony and performance, but it is still ultimately up to Latifah. Thanks.

  • Kevin Anthony Rowe

    Appalling. He is missing the whole point of this. Gay, straight, white, black, man, woman…whatever you are you should have the right to a loving relationship. How narrow and self centered to think that the whole thing is about one sliver of society.

    Get a clue.

  • Tim Stackhouse This is a fair point, but there's still something wrong with a generation who's job it seems to be to spew opinionated bs online no matter what. Everyone thinks their opinions are important, when the reality is that nobody's really are and most of them are uninformed or at the least misspelled. Nobody can just watch the show, we have to find what's wrong and rag on someone on this online infinite outlet we have. And while I agree that celebrities do have somewhat of an obligation, I stand by the concept that one's sexuality is nobody's business but their own until they choose for it to be, no matter who you are.

  • Tim Stackhouse you on the other hand, I love :)

  • Devon Alexander Stoney

    I will have to say that we as a gay community sometimes lack tolerance for our own! I was dumbfounded when I read this because lets face it there are those that are out and proud but give absolutely nothing back to our community and take more. So if this is your argument does that mean that I should be pissed off that a person with HIV does not come out as POZ if they are doing or heading a charity or event that benefits HIV people? Your article was utter hate and I am sad so sad that for whatever reason you feel that people in our community can't live their lives the way they choose and still give back to our community. Ugh!

  • Honestly, I thought she came out a few years ago, just didn't outright say the word "lesbian." Has she ever denied being gay in the last few years?

  • It's just so sad when members of the community insult other (probably) members of the community for not being out and not adhering to their preconceived notion of what an LGBT person should be. Bottom line is she is an advocate for marriage equality and that's all anyone should care about. This article is atrocious.

  • I am thrilled the LGBTQ community has a friend in Queen Latifah. And her celebrity doesn't give us the right to demand access to her bedroom. I'm all for outing closeted gay politicos who act to hold back our equality. But I'm disgusted you want to tear down one of our staunch supporters.

  • Some of these editorials have made me question what motivates individuals to pick the battles they do ever since the rather interesting take on the Martin case ( http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/04/09/all-aboard-the-trayvon-bandwagon/ ) though it was good of the Blade to post an informative retort. ( http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/04/12/trayvons-death-should-concern-all-who-seek-justice/ ) With all the pro-gay and anti-gay celebrities out there, I'm not sure why we're picking on Queen Latifah. She's sticking her neck out for the community in a very huge and pivotal way simply by showing her support for marriage equality and deserves to be commended, not condemned for it. She has a diverse following and her fans knowing that she is a strong supporter of marriage equality is helpful to the LGBT community at large. Period.

  • Thank you!

  • Thank you!

  • Well said Terrence Dickerson!!! SMH

  • Well said Terrence Dickerson!!! SMH

  • There is a difference between not telling everyone and being closited. I've never seen or heard her ever deny she is bisexual, she has simply not addressed it. Many people chose not to not out of shame but because they want to have some part of their life be theirs alone. This kind of trash talk helps no one.

  • This article truly saddens me, not only for the reasons already outlined here in this strand, but also for the motivations behind it. I wonder how much of this is truly Naff's own thought and "opinion," and how much of the content here is a media ploy to get responses. If it worked for Miley, it can work for this writer, and that's exactly what he's doing: playing off of the hype of the Grammy's and Latifa's "closeted" life.

  • This article infuriated me. Everyone deserves to live their life with the level of privacy they so choose. No matter what their sexual preference is. Not EVERY celeb needs to have a giant coming out party. I think that in many cases, one's need to identify strongly with their sexuality often takes away from the other incredible parts of their being and identity. She is not denying who she is. She is simply not making public announcements about it. I am not sure who the hell Kevin Naff thinks he is but I challenge him to face the level of public scrutiny a celeb does and stop hiding behind the pages of a local publication and online journalism. <3 an angry reader

  • This article infuriated me. Everyone deserves to live their life with the level of privacy they so choose. No matter what their sexual preference is. Not EVERY celeb needs to have a giant coming out party. I think that in many cases, one's need to identify strongly with their sexuality often takes away from the other incredible parts of their being and identity. She is not denying who she is. She is simply not making public announcements about it. I am not sure who the hell Kevin Naff thinks he is but I challenge him to face the level of public scrutiny a celeb does and stop hiding behind the pages of a local publication and online journalism. <3 an angry reader

  • Matt, you are so right. It is up to the individual weather they want to come out or not. As long as a person support others right to be who they are, its not up to us to decide how they live their lives, or what they choose to tell the world. I am a straight married women, Im a senior citizen, and I believe everyone has the right to love who they love…….God doesnt make mistakes.

  • first we have the Advocate calling Pope Francesa :-) . . . the man of the year or whatever and now this crap. unreal.

  • Short sighted. It may garner some traffic to the sight one day, but it will definitely send gay and ally advertisers running to other more reliable publications / websites.

  • If I'm not mistaking it was about equality and not just LGBT. There were interracial couples, as well hetrosexual coupled amongst the 33. Does that mean that Queen is a closeted interracial hetro too?? No… she was a presenter for a cause that focus on marriage equality and not just for those who care to label themselves.

  • Wendy Fox I couldn't agree more. This topic hits home for me on multiple levels, as you can imagine. Erica Krauss, what I mean to say is, sometimes people say and do things just for the anticipated public response, and perhaps that's exactly what is happening here. I can most definitely think of a more reliable women's publication here in DC Allen Klingsick!

  • Katy Ray I was talking about the article. That's pretty backwards.

  • Haha oh! I thought u meant my comment ;) I thought so too! Like. Wow…

  • Ew totally lame. Since when is coming out a requirement?

  • Every LGBT person has an obligation. Especially ones that can be role models. –

    “Gay brothers and sisters,… You must come out. Come out… to your parents… I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives… come out to your friends… if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors… to your fellow workers… to the people who work where you eat and shop… come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared – Harvey Milk

  • Anderson Cooper said it best on public figures coming out, "at the same time, I think visibility is important — that the tide of history only moves forward when everybody is visible … I didn't want to send a message that there was anything I was ashamed about."

  • It really is fascinating that she hasn't come out. She's taken the page from Jodie Foster's playbook: let it be so obvious for so long and then finally say, "Yeah, duh."

  • I'd like her to come out but on her own time and not with bullying articles like this.

  • Robert la Bohème

    Skip O'Brien Congratulations, Skip. You've been oppressed and taken that training and now you're the oppressor.

  • What are you at sad enough courage even if you try? I commend her for her courage!

  • This was an positive event, and an overwhelming show of love for the LGBT community. This article is a disgrace to our community. Who cares about her personal life, Queen Latifah and the other performers did a beautiful thing on stage last night. Why not focus on the couples who got married on national television? Over 30 million people watched a gay wedding on prime time television. No doubt that was a first for many watching. Now that would have been a news-worthy topic for this article. Opportunity missed.

  • Why does she have to tell us??? We should love her either way.

  • Robert la Bohème.., She made a business decision in keeping her sexuality and life a secret in order to move her career forward and to maintain ratings on her current show with one of the most bigoted groups in America…her oppressor is the bigoted black community.

  • Bronson Page; she has all the success she could want…maybe she is going to come out next year after a few successful seasons?

  • she is pretending to be straight to keep her ratings high from her black bigoted audience that kind of hates gays…its a business decision

  • its a business decision, she wants higher ratings from bigoted blacks and can't be seen personally as one of those "weird lesbians", does that make her more free or does that make her a victim of oppression?

  • Robert la Bohème

    Skip O'Brien You don't know that. Maybe she has older family members she's considering. We don't know. Regardless, it's her business, her personal life, and her decision; and for anyone else to force this issue is just plain wrong.

  • Joseph Aleksandar Hovanic

    That's her personal choice if she wants to live her life in private. Not yours. She has been a long time supporter of LGBT rights. The woman is entitled to live her life as she sees fit. She doesn't owe you or anyone anything.

  • Stupid, negative and useless article :-(

  • Has the Blade ever reported any actual news, ever?

  • Robert la Bohème; true leadership came from Lady Gaga when she brought out three members of the military during the VMA's that led to the fall of DADT, she was personally thanked by our Senate Majority leader…it would be nice to see more from the "Queen"

  • Well, I suspect what I really think about this sorry piece of trash of an op-Ed piece wouldn't meet your criteria for "respectful." So what I can state here is that Queen Latifah has never done any harm to the LGBT communities, and this essay is the lowest form of pathetic envy. Latifah may not got neatly into the writers preconceived boxes for her, but she has always been supportive politically and financially to the LGBT movement, regardless of how many kinds of genitals and romances inspire her. If advise your author to get a life.

  • Leave the woman alone! She is out!

  • Leave the woman alone! She is out!

  • I agree. She did a great job!

  • I agree. She did a great job!

  • It's funny the article smugly says she can't change and she never will right after mentioning Robin Roberts, but she just came out. I hope Queen Latifah comes out. But I think the main point is that last night's performance of that song while all the gay couples were marrying one another was awesome! Let's all focus on our progress. The world saw love in the faces of gay and lesbian couples.

  • It's funny the article smugly says she can't change and she never will right after mentioning Robin Roberts, but she just came out. I hope Queen Latifah comes out. But I think the main point is that last night's performance of that song while all the gay couples were marrying one another was awesome! Let's all focus on our progress. The world saw love in the faces of gay and lesbian couples.

  • 37 states have legal challenges waiting in the courts in non marriage equality states. Equality is on a powerful roll in the right direction. Peace, love and equality to all! Being in the closet is about to look very silly.

  • 37 states have legal challenges waiting in the courts in non marriage equality states. Equality is on a powerful roll in the right direction. Peace, love and equality to all! Being in the closet is about to look very silly.

  • Padma Mott-Valdevit

    Um…can you call it closeted if you are clearly living your life the way you want, with whom you want? Why the need for a press conference?

  • clearly the writer missed the point of the song. We should support the closeted lgbt community just as much as we support the openly lgbt community. We can not and should not force someone to "come out" because it is their choice to keep their personal lives private. Quit hating on individuals and listen to the song again… Maybe the writer will get it this time.

  • Give me a break. Equating "hate" with reasoned critique is nonsense – which is all the more apparent by your inability to refute with anything aside from what amounts to "nuh uh." As a privileged celeb we are right to expect more of her.

    • Why? And the fact that you think she does, says more about you than her. She owns “you” and everyone else absolutely nothing. You buy her album, watch movies or tv show or don’t.

    • Who cares if she comes out or not. Its her
      Life not the public. What or who she has in her
      Bedroom is her biz. Not the press and not the public.

  • Joseph Aleksandar Hovanic And it's a personal choice to call her out on continuing to foster the idea that it's ok to shame gays into silence.

  • Ok let’s be a little bit logical… though Queen Latifah did not stand up at the event and say, “Hey, I too am a Lesbian!” Was that really the place for that announcement? She was there by request obviously and what the attendees know about her is unknown to us. It seems as though she is not welcome unless she grands stands on her orientation prior to supporting the rights of LGBT. How does that even sound? Let’s use everyday people in the equation… Unless you know that your uncle, mom, or close family friend is also in your lifestyle you cannot allow them to speak at your wedding… Ummmm FOOLISH! everyone has their own battles you can’t impose you’re podium on others. QL stood for equality for everyone not just herself and that is commendable. This article did what it was meant to do stir up LGBT gossip and attempt to create folds in an otherwise peaceful stand.

  • This “article” is soooo clearly really racist and sexist. It’s critical of the woman of color that doesn’t want to disclose her sexuality but praises the straight cis white man who is reaping the millions of a song written about queers and of course he specifically included language on how he isn’t gay so that everyone knows, just in case. Also love how they put Wanda Sykes as the first alternate suggestion because it was the only out queer person of color/woman of color they could think of. Take your privilege and oppression, and sit down. Also while you’re at it, go read a book!

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