Mind Ya Bi’ness, Just Mind Ya Bi’ness: Celebs Who Refuse To Confirm Their Sexual Orientation
It may be 2014 but there are still some celebrities out there who refuse to confirm their sexual preference for one reason or another.
Queen Latifah blazed a trail by becoming successful in a male-dominated rap world. As her popularity grew, so did questions about her sexuality. Dogged by rumors for much of her career, Queen Latifah has refused to comment about her personal life. Paparazzi have caught the New Jersey native numerous times with her then-personal trainer/long-time ex-girlfriend Jeanette Jenkins but she has still been adamant about keeping her private life private. At this year’s Grammys, many thought the “Ladies First” rapper would finally come out of the closet while officiating a number of gay marriages at an event before the ceremony, but she didn’t.
We fell in love with her as she played the precocious toddler on the hit sitcom “The Cosby Show.” Raven-Symone got her start in front of the cameras at an early age and grew up before our eyes. While she has amassed a fortune by starring in her own show as well as movies, she’s also been the subject of major speculation. Word started to spread about the “That’s So Raven” star being romantically linked with “America’s Next Top Model” contestant AzMarie Livingston, but fiercely guarded Symone tweeted this May 2012: “My sexual orientation is mine, and the person I’m dating’s to know. I’m not one for a public display of my life.” However, she may have let the cat out of the bag a year later with her comment on legalizing gay marriage, “I was excited to hear today that more states legalized gay marriage. I, however am not currently getting married, but it is great to know I can now, should I wish to.”
Kevin Spacey is known as one of the greatest actors of our time but the Usual Suspects star is also known to value his privacy. When asked about his sexual orientation, the Academy award-winning actor refused to give a yes or a no. Instead, he reiterated his right to privacy: “I don’t live a lie. You have to understand that people who choose not to discuss their personal lives are not living a lie,” he said, adding, “No one’s personal life is in the public interest. It’s gossip, bottom line.”
Janelle Monae has danced to the beat of a different drummer for all of her career. The “Tightrope” singer has never publicly addressed her sexual preference or the gay rumors that surround her but did say during a 2011 interview that when it comes to her preferences, she only dates androids. “I speak about androids because I think the android represents the new ‘other,’” Monae said. “You can compare it to being a lesbian or being a gay man or being a black woman. What I want is for people who feel oppressed or feel like the ‘other’ to connect with the music and to feel like, ‘She represents who I am’,” adding that she would talk about her sexual orientation “in due time.”
Bruno Mars’ style is a throwback to a time when entertainers like Elvis Pressley and Little Richard ruled the charts and being gay was a taboo. In 2012, it was reported that the “Just the Way You Are” singer admitted he was gay but a rep for Mars quickly spoke up and said that was just not the truth. He may love singing about sex but Bruno Mars himself has been mum about his sexual orientation.
A young and obese Richard Simmons moved to Los Angeles in the 70’s and, determined to change his health for the better, developed an interest in fitness. Opening his own dance studio, Simmons quickly became known for helping others lose weight and soon a star was born. While he became internationally known for encouraging other to slim down by sweatin’ to the oldies, he has also been known to keep quiet about his personal life. Simmons has never responded to the speculation surrounding his sexuality.
Actor Vin Diesel is known as the one of the buffest action movie stars in Hollywood. But even he has been the subject of gay rumors. When asked about the long-standing speculation about his sexuality, the Fast and Furious star explains, “I’m not gonna put it out there on a magazine cover like some other actors.I come from the Harrison Ford, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino code of silence.” Diesel also said he prefers to date in Europe, where he’s not as easily recognized and prefers not to date other celebrities because that is just asking for trouble.
Heartthrob Zac Efron had teenaged girls across the country hanging on to his every word as the star of Disney’s High School Musical. Much of his fans were heart-broken when they learned he was dating fellow co-star Vanessa Hudgens. The couple had been together since 2005 but that didn’t stop him from being the subject of gay rumors. When asked about it, Efron, who broke up with Hudgens in 2010, laughed it off: “Honestly, if the worst he can say about me is that I’m gay, then I think I’ll be fine. I can handle it.”
James Franco got his big break starring in the short-lived cult classic television show “Freaks and Geeks” and since then, he’s gone on to have a successful career in Hollywood. The eccentric actor has revealed that gay rumors have followed him much of his life, starting in high school and continuing on throughout his career. It continued especially after he played gay rights activist Scott Smith and debuted his homoerotic film Interior. Leather Bar. at the Sundance Film Festival. Brushing them off, the “Pineapple Express,” said he doesn’t believe in labels and is not defined by them.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt got his start in acting at an early age in such movies as A River Runs Through It and Angels In The Outfield before starring as Tommy Solomon on the hit sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun. Identifying himself as a feminist, Gordon-Levitt has also been accused of not identifying himself as gay. When asked about his sexual orientation, he refused to comment on it saying, “That would be really tacky—they would win if I had to clarify.”
Hollywood actor George Clooney has been romantically linked to a bevy of beautiful women so that must make him straight, right? Well, he has still been the subject of gay rumors and when pressed about the issue by the media, the former “ER” star has said he won’t deny the rumors because that would be an insult to the gay community. Clooney has also vowed to never get married or have any children.
Comedian Eddie Murphy used to joke about being afraid to marry because he didn’t want to lose half his fortune in a divorce. He was protected by a pre-nup so when his marriage to wife and mother of his five children Nicole Murphy ended after 13 years, he was not a poor man. However, he wasn’t protected from gay rumors and word of a relationship with R&B singer Johnny Gill. It didn’t help matters when Murphy was busted driving around with a transgender in the passenger seat. While Murphy has been cagey about the rumors, Gill spoke about it, still not giving a definitive yes or no answer: “Eddie’s always been Eddie and anybody that knows Eddie knows Eddie lives Eddie’s life and he will look at you straight up and tell you, “Aye keep messing with me and I’ll hit you with my wallet and knock you out and keep it rocking!”
Politician Ed Koch took the helms as mayor of New York City during a particularly tough time. But during the campaign his rival Mario Cuomo took shots at Koch’s sexual orientation with the slogan, “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo.” When asked outright, Koch was all too happy to respond, It’s none of your f*cking business.” A lifelong bachelor, Koch passed away last year at the age of 88.
Legendary singer Luther Vandross has made some of the most classic baby-making music of his time. Known for his sweet voice, many wondered if the “Never Too Much” singer was gay or straight. While he has never spoken publicly about his private life, it wasn’t until after his death that some of his friends spoke up. Less than a year after Vandross died at the age of 54 from a heart attack and complications of a stroke, his gay pals detailed the singer’s secret homosexual life in a magazine expose.
Joe Simpson helped guide not one but two daughters throughout their singing careers. While Jessica and Ashlee have lived their lives in the public eye, their father made headlines of his own. Rumors swirled around that Papa Joe was divorcing his wife Tina because he was tired of living a lie and was ready to live life as a gay man. But don’t expect him to publicly announce it. A source close to the family has said the elder Simpson wants to stay silent on the matter, “out of respect for his family, and is also afraid that his reputation as a God-loving Christian will be tarnished.”