June 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm EDT | by Kevin Naff
Queen Latifah refuses to come out of the closet

Queen Latifah (photo by Affiliate Summit via wikimedia)

You’d think after President Obama, the NAACP and countless others came out in support of marriage equality — and as the nation prepares to celebrate Pride month — that Queen Latifah might (finally) find the inspiration to acknowledge she’s a lesbian. You’d be wrong.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the closeted actress insists that her May performance at Long Beach Pride was not a coming out party.

“That definitely wasn’t the case,” she told EW. “I’ve never dealt with the question of my personal life in public. It’s just not gonna happen.”

I cannot fathom a more destructive message to send to LGBT youth. The fact of being gay is no more a private matter than it is for straight people, not one of whom would ever decline to say they were heterosexual. When the wealthiest, most successful among us refuse to come out (hello, Anderson Cooper), how can we expect the rural schoolteacher and construction worker to do the same?

The Latifah gay rumors have been around for years and are supported by intimate photos of her with her girlfriend and by private accounts from those who know and work with her.

Maybe her fellow Cover Girl Ellen DeGeneres can talk some sense into her. In the meantime, Pride organizers should stop booking her to perform for LGBT audiences. There are plenty of affirming role models out there who are happy to perform at our Pride celebrations that we needn’t line the pockets of shameful cowards like Latifah.

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.

  • As much as I would like for all gay people to be able to openly admit their orientation, I also believe it is none of my damned business who is and isn’t gay. If Queen Latifah is gay and doesn’t want to admit it publicly, leave her the hell alone. It’s her business, not yours. She is not now, nor has she ever been responsible for another person’s ability to recognize and admit their sexuality.

  • Really? What type of message does it sent youth that you are calling someone a coward for not coming out of the closet… everyone has their own personal reasons and will do it when they are comfortable. Pride is about supporting the community – not ripping people apart because they do!

  • You’d think that the politically correct crowd would recognize the importance of autonomy over one’s own life, including one’s sexuality and what one does or doesn’t do with it. You’d be wrong. I’d love it if all prominent queer people came out, but I recognize that I have no moral claim on their doing so.

  • She isn’t denying that she is gay, she is denying that she discussed her personal business publicly. She has no obligation to allow anyone into her private life. Queen Latifah has the right to have some privacy, just like we all do. I can totally understand her stance, especially for someone who spends so much of her life in the public eye. People like Latifah and Anderson do a lot to support the community. I’ve also never heard/read either of them say anything destructive about the LGBT community. Shame on you, Kevin.

  • Maybe she hasn’t come out because she’s not gay…. I don’t know why people have to make the assumption.. Like Anderson c. and queen lol not everyone is gay

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