All Articles Tagged "lesbian"
No.1 Draft Pick Brittney Griner On Being Gay In The WNBA: ‘I’ve Always Been Open About Who I Am And My Sexuality’
It shouldn’t be surprising that the WNBA is a lot more accepting of “alternative lifestyles” than the NBA is, but for No. 1 draft pick Brittney Griner it doesn’t make her much nevermind. Before Monday, it was a toss-up whether the Baylor grad would be heading to the WNBA or charting new territory with the Dallas Mavericks, as owner Mark Cuban claimed he’d give the Houston-born baller a shot to try out. But four days ago, the Phoenix Mercury scooped up the 22-year-old before he had a chance to make good on that offer, and from an interview with Sports Illustrated it’s clear she already feels at home.
Asked along with the No. 2 and 3 draft picks, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins, why coming out in women’s sports is more accepted as opposed to men’s, Brittney said:
“I really couldn’t give an answer on why that’s so different. Being one that’s out, it’s just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are. Don’t worry about what other people are going to say, because they’re always going to say something, but, if you’re just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don’t hide who you really are.”
At 6’8″ it’s hard for Brittney to hide much — a reality that made being “out” much less of a deal for her, she told SI when asked whether it was difficult for her to be openly gay.
“It really wasn’t too difficult, I wouldn’t say I was hiding or anything like that. I’ve always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So, it wasn’t hard at all. If I can show that I’m out and I’m fine and everything’s OK, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way.”
Whether the NBA adopts such an open and accepting attitude — along with the NFL and other predominately male sports — remains to be seen. But so far, it looks like we can chop up the WNBA’s LGBTQ acceptance as yet another example of how women are surpassing men.
Bisexuality, for most, simply means duality: the attraction to both the same sex and the opposite sex –male and female. To some, however, bisexuality is reduced to promiscuity –individuals who are considered so perverse that they don’t exclude either sex from their conquests or attractions. And, that notion is perpetuated by many aspects of the media, predominately television; along with the idea that bisexuality is neither a real identity nor a lifestyle choice, but a way for men to curtain their “true” gay identities, and an opportunity for women to engage in non-emotional sexualized play –and that thought directly correlates to the onset of biphobia in waking generations.
Bisexuality is by no means a new occurrence in nature. Throughout recorded history, various humane societies and the animal kingdom have been documented as having explored bisexuality. Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome are prime examples of civilizations recognized as having bisexual tendencies, and the squid, the Bottlenose dolphin and black swans are just on the short list of animals who like to swim at both ends of the metaphoric pool.
The fact that bisexuality is documented does not dissuade naysayers from objecting and volunteering their opinions on the matter. The gray-middle ground, where bisexuality lies, upsets people because it isn’t black or white. Men who love men are always considered to be gay, and are rarely accepted as being bisexual. If he is seen with a woman after he’s already been perceived as gay, then she’s a “f*g hag” or a “beard,” and he’s jumping back inside the closet. And, this is often the opinion from both gay and straight bystanders, who are waiting for him to finally admit he’s gay or to keep lying to himself, and presumably be on the down-low. This is not the case at all, if a bisexual man happens to marry a woman, he is no more inclined to cheat on his wife than a heterosexual man, or he would his husband. To assume that he would have to live a double life in order to satisfy his urges suggests that people don’t believe that bisexuals are able to maintain healthy and loving relationships without straying.
And, for bisexual women, the problem is entirely different. The assumption is that bisexual encounters between two women only happen when alcohol is involved, or during experimentation. Or, if there is a relationship, then it is just a phase. These women are expected to be having “fun” prior to the presumably superior life of hetero-normality. This, again, is reductive. The assumption not only cheapens the idea of female sexual experiences of women, but it suggests that a same sex relationship involving a bisexual woman is not a lasting one.
The challenge for society is to understand that fluidity in sexuality doesn’t simply occur when a person is drunk or horny (not every bi-person is hetero-flexible or straight-when-sober), it occurs through actualized attractions and personal honesty. Bisexuality can become more accepted if individuals refrain from jumping to conclusions about another person’s sexuality based on who others are dating or having sex with –also being candid and frank about one’s own attractions makes people less bigoted toward other people’s attractions and choices.
*Name has been changed to ensure privacy
A few weeks ago I came across the movie Pariah. It was one of those vague, but poignant IFC network films that I’m always waking up on the end of in the middle of the night. Before the credits begin to roll there’s a dark-skinned girl staring out of a bus window with a vacant look of relief which had me like, “Wonder what the hell that was about?” So I did a search and set for it to record the next day. The movie begins in a seedy strip club. Our main character stands a bit behind the crowd shy, but in awe of this mocha-colored beauty doing some kind of butterfly thigh move on the pole. And soon it hits me that this person in a fitted cap looking confused, amazed and about a “Drake” on a comfort level of saint to sinner in the strip club is wait…a girl. Pariah is the story of a young African-American woman dealing with discovering her own blossoming sexuality and self-expression while confronting the expectations of her traditional church-going parents who have skeletons of their own. Even more so, it’s a story of a butch African-American lesbian teenage girl.
Over the past twenty-years and so, America has hesitantly swallowed the shock value of gay America and in the past decade or so even slowly infused it into our popular culture in a social understanding that LGBTQ is American culture too whether we like it or not. But as familiar as some of us have become with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and LOGO TV, we’ve forgotten that lesbians are about that life too. And not the lesbians that Lil’ Wayne glorifies and America likes to see. I’m talking about the lesbians that we don’t completely understand, so we think if we don’t discuss them, they’ll go away: the butch lesbians.
Because I honestly must say, I don’t get it. When I watched Pariah I had the same question I’m sure everyone else does when they see a beautiful woman holding hands with someone at first glance you think is a guy, until something that would otherwise go unnoticed gives it away only because you ARE staring so hard, “Why is she with her when she could just get a real man?”
“That’s not a question that’s easy to answer,” I was told Friday evening. See because the fact that I didn’t “get it,”bothered me. So instead of making assumptions I wanted to talk to someone who could give me a glimpse into what life is like for the “lesbians straight people don’t understand.” I decided to call up Jazz*, a friend I hadn’t talked to since high school. In fact she was someone I had liked a lot, my best friend since grade school. So of course I felt like a complete jerk that my first phone call to her in over ten years was to interrogate her about her sexual status. It was nothing personal, just one of those situations where life stuff makes you lose touch. Luckily the whole conversation wasn’t just about who she was sleeping with, and she was still the great friend I had from all of those years ago.
For as long as I knew, Jazz and I never had much in common. In fact I’m pretty sure our friendship blossomed from always being grouped together for some kind of seating arrangement or project in grade school because our names were close together in the alphabet. We always enjoyed each other’s company and even when I’d come over she’d be playing basketball in the back of the house and I’d be upstairs playing Barbies with her younger sisters. But it was further proof that friendship is more than just all of the activities you have in common; it’s about inside jokes, common enemies and the fact that someone who is not obligated to love you, does for whatever reason that may be.
When I vaguely learned that Jazz was dating women through a random Facebook update, I can’t say I was super surprised, but apparently it wasn’t anything she ever really entertained when we were younger. Here I was marching around with my LGBTQ ally flag singing, Baby I was Born This Way when Jazz quickly corrected, she really doesn’t think she was, “Some people say they’re born gay and I don’t know if I agree with that. I’m not even going to say I wasn’t ever attracted to men. Even you know when me and you were younger we talked about boys we thought were cute.” It made me think of the notes we’d pass in eight grade bickering over who Batman from Immature (or was it IMX by then) belonged to. It wasn’t a front or her fighting any feelings she was ashamed of. She was just blindly navigating her sexuality like the rest of us adolescents. It just further confirmed to me how sexuality isn’t as black and white as we’d like it to be, whether you’re gay or straight. We may not be all pushing any boundaries on gender representation and who were attracted to, but sexuality and emotions are confusing for everyone.
I wonder if Jada Pinkett knew the firestorm she was going to set off when she posted a rather interesting and controversial question (along with the image above) on her Facebook page earlier this week. Concerned about the state of relationships between men and women, and about the intimacy choices of a few women around her, Jada questioned why women are seemingly choosing to be with women romantically in response to negative experiences with men. Rather than editorialize and run the risk of misconstruing whatever insight she was trying to gain, let me simply lay her question out the same way she did.
Before I begin…I want to make one thing clear. It’s important that you know that I believe love comes in ALL forms. I believe a person should love WHOMEVER…HOWEVER they choose. But…I do have a question.
In the last month, three women, in their 40s, coming out of long term relationships with men have confided in me that they now feel that their last resort for companionship is that with a woman. These are women who have never engaged in or even desired to be in intimate relationships with other women. Now these women feel as though they have no other option. It seems as if there is a spike in same sex love all around. What is changing in which how men and women are relating to one another, that is creating same sex love as a LAST RESORT for heterosexual women?
Well, what do you think? And have you noticed this “trend”?
For years, there has been media speculation concerning the sexuality of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Eddie Murphy, Johnny Gill, and more recently, Raven Symone. The trip out of the closet has been a long one for African American celebrities, evident by the fact there aren’t nearly as many out and open black celebrities as there are white. We don’t often see black celebrities walking around, publicly showcasing their love like Sex and the City’s Cythia Nixon and her girlfriend; Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi; or Elton John and David Furnish. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any out African American celebrities though. In fact, we’ve got an entire list of proud gay celebrities.
This comedian has been making people laugh since she began her stand-up career in 1987 at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington DC. She got her first big break opening for Chris Rock at Caroline’s Comedy Club, and since then she’s made a career of being an award-winning television and movie actress, stand-up comedian, and writer. Sykes publicly came out on as a lesbian in November 2008 after the passing of Proposition 8 in California.
Tags:african american celebrities who are gay, alice walker, angela davis, audre lorde, azealia banks, Frank Ocean, gay, gay black celebrities, homosexual african americans, johnny mathis, lee daniels, lesbian, lesbian celebrities, LGBT, lorraine hansberry, meshell ndegeocello, octavia butler, out and proud, paris barclay, rupaul, sapphire, Sheryl Swoopes, Tracy Chapman, wanda sykles
For as much discussion as there is about African Americans’ overgeneralized sense of homophobia, it’s surprising that a study has found we are actually the most likely racial group to openly identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT).
A new Gallup Special Report on the LGBT population in the U.S., based on more than 120,000 interviews of adults, found 3.4% of the overall population of the country identifies as LGBT, most of which are non-white, younger, and less educated. In terms of race, African Americans and other racial minorities were more likely than whites to identify as homosexual. Overall, 4.6% of African Americans identify as LGBT, followed by 4.3% of Asians, 4.0% of Hispanics, and just 3.2% of white Americans. Seemingly confirming the double standard of society embracing lesbian women but somewhat rejecting gay men is the finding that women are just slightly more likely to identify as LGBT than men (3.6% vs. 3.3%). In terms of overall numbers, 53% of LGBT individuals are women.
Less surprising perhaps is the fact that younger Americans (age 18-29) are more likely, three times specifically, than seniors (aged 65 and older) to identify as LGBT. The 6.4% of open young adults versus the 1.9% of seniors likely has a lot to do with societal attitudes toward homosexuality over the years. What was once a taboo sexual preference and even seen as an illness has become mostly culturally accepted and even endorsed by the President and legitimized in some eyes by the recognizing of same-sex marital unions in a number of states.
What may be less easier to explain is the finding that Americans with lower levels of education are more likely than their higher educated counterparts to identify as LGBT. The study authors note that this is contrary to many studies using smaller data samples, but among their population, 3.5 % of those with a high school education or less identify as LGBT compared to 2.8% of those with a college degree and 3.2% of those with a graduate education. In all, LGBT identification is highest among those with some college education (4.0%) but not a college degree.
Speaking on the new insight gained from their Gallup report, Williams Distinguished Scholar Gary J. Gates said in a press release:
“This report not only confirms the validity of prior estimates of the size of the LGBT population, but also provides new insight into the diversity within the LGBT community. It will dramatically increase our understanding of the lives and views of LGBT Americans, and I congratulate Gallup for adding this important question to their tracking poll.”
For more highlights of the report, click here.
What do you think about these major findings?
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Girl-on-girl action has become the hot thing to do for attention these days, Nicki Minaj being the most recent (and grandest) offender. But some are wondering whether Marsha Ambrosius might be in the lesbian for play play camp now after looking at the video for her new song, “F**k N Get it Over With.” Of course there’s always the other possibility too, that she’s actually into women and this is her creative coming out.
The track, which I’m sure will quickly become the club closer at the end of the night, is definitely a bedroom boom jam and the video backs up the late-night, let’s get it right tempo. Marsha is the only one we see for the majority of the clip, preparing for an intimate encounter with someone she clearly plans on finally going to bed with after much anticipation. As we watch her set out her bra and mini-skit and hop in a car scantily clad, we assume she’s headed over to give a man some good loving. But then the biggest shock of all, besides Marsha having a song with such a raw title, is that a woman in lingerie answers the door and leads Marsha into the house, so they can finally eff and get it over with.
So what’s the big deal?
One, we’re not used to seeing two women in a sexual way in a video without it being overly salacious. Some might say this scene also falls into that category, but there was something very matter-of-fact about the way the other woman was presented that I can appreciate. No one was grinding on the other for the sake of male attention as is so often the case with displays of lesbian love. These were two grown women about to do what they do because that’s what they like to do. Two, if, in fact, this is Marsha’s own coming out or even just a nod to lesbian women, I can value the presentation without all the hype over a “gay scene” so to speak or all of the theatrics over her announcing her sexual preference.
Since Marsha’s Floetry days there have been questions over her sexual orientation, and even speculation that she was in a relationship with bandmate Natalie Stewart and when they broke up as a couple, they also broke up as a group. Neither woman has ever spoken on those rumors, and though Marsha has openly talked about her connection with gay audiences, she’s never been open about who she’s laying with at the end of the night because, truthfully, it’s irrelevant to her craft. But now she seems to be letting us inside her world just a bit with the cliffhanger ending of her new music video, which incidentally debuted on National Coming Out Day yesterday. Coincidence? I think not.
The singer has yet to confirm whether what’s seen in the video is a reflection of what she does in real life, although after looking at the video what more is there to say? Kudos to her for artistically showcasing her truth without all the pomp and circumstance. Unless of course this was just a publicity move to get people to listen to the song in which case I’ll just say congratulations!
Check out the video below. What do you think about it?
More on Madame Noire!
- Where Are They Now? The Real Hollywood Exes (And Mistresses) Of Music’s Biggest Players
- True Life: I Had To Learn The Hard Way
- Self-Pity? No Thanks: Why I Love The Chocolate Skin I’m In
- Well That’s…Interesting: Mimi Is Writing A Book On Warning Signs Of Dating Men In The Industry
- Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Why Falling In Love Is A Choice (And Why I Hate Romantic Comedies)
- Fall Into Your Feelings: How Autumn Will Affect Your Love Life
- Well, You Don’t Say: 9 Celebrities, Ballers, Authors And Vixens You Might Not Have Known Were Virgin Islanders
In news that won’t surprise anybody, former American Idol and The Voice contender, Frenchie Davis, announced she is gay.
If you remember, after a controversial dismissal from Season 2 of American Idol, the big girl with a bigger voice found herself back in the spotlight singing “I Kissed a Girl” on the premiere episode of The Voice.
After that, she posed for a picture with America’s Next Top Model Eva Marcille at the Atlanta Gay Pride festival that fueled speculation of her (and Eva’s) sexual preferences. Now, Frenchie confirms she is a lesbian.
The “American Idol” and “Voice” alum has revealed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she’s been dating a woman for the past year, though she offers no other details on the relationship.
“I wasn’t out before the relationship, but I wasn’t in,” she told the publication. “I dated men and women, though lesbians weren’t feeling the bisexual thing. Now I’m in love with a woman I think I can be with forever.”
The singer, who performed in Broadway’s “Rent” and toured with a production of “Dreamgirls,” also professes her love of gay men in the interview. “I love the gays,” she says. “I love the gay boys. They have that awesome, masculine energy, but there’s also something else going on as well.”
Frenchie, who is a staple at gay pride events around the country is performing at Chicago Pride Fest this weekend and she is also working on a new album.
How long until celebrities don’t feel the need to come out of their gay closets? Especially when the doors on that closet were wide open anyway?
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
More on Madame Noire!
- True Life: I REFUSE to Do That in the Bedroom
- He Wrote That? Part II: More Surprising Songwriters Behind Some of Your Favorite Jams
- Strength, Great Skin and 5 Other Black Girl Privileges
- Looking For Trouble: The Day I Hurt Myself By Snooping on My Man…
- My Story: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide When the Law Couldn’t Protect Them From Incest
- Ask a Very Smart Brotha Live: What’s With All the Diva Dudes?
- Noire Naturals, Episode 1: The Natural Twist Out
The connected nature of the world is blurring the line between our public and private personas. Does privacy even exist anymore? This phenomenon can be seen in how celebrities are viewed. The public balks when they withhold the slightest detail about themselves. But, with personal and professional lives feeding off one another like never before, it is important to keep some things sacred.
Raven-Symone, a child star of Cosby Show fame that has since retired to the Broadway stage, became the topic of discussion when she responded to rumors surrounding her sexuality that were first ignited by the National Enquirer. Sources told the tabloid that Symone was living with a female love interest in her New York City apartment.
Raven took to Twitter to respond saying, “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,” an odd choice of words for someone who makes a living in the limelight. She’s not the only star to remain aloof about her sexual orientation. Queen Latifah has repeatedly told publications that her personal life is personal and she wouldn’t speak on such rumors.
Many articles on Raven’s situation focused on whether she should fess up to the rumors either way. Even when dealing with matters not as intimate as sexuality, the public scoffs when a public figure is not forthcoming about their personal life. Beyoncé’s decision to hide her marriage and go without her wedding ring for months on end only stoked the media’s interest in her marital status.
For celebrities, work-life balance takes on heightened importance. Maintaining a boundary between their personal and public life is an attempt to keep some part of their lives personal and real, without being tainted by public opinion. The average person requires the same courtesy, if on a smaller scale.
Kameron Slade won a class speech competition and that allowed him to be part of the school wide speech competition at P.S. 195 in Queens, NY. Instead of taking on a topic that many other students would probably pick, 10 year old Cameron decided on something else: same sex marriage. Kameron, along with his mother and teacher, worked diligently on the speech so that he would be prepared for last Friday’s competition.
He didn’t get to do the speech because just two days before, the principal told Kameron’s unidentified mother that he needed to change the topic or be removed from the contest. Although Kameron changed the topic (he spoke on animal cruelty) and subsequently lost the speech contest, his opinions on same sex marriage conversations as it pertains to children apparently remained the same:
“There is no point in really trying to hide it because us children, we are going to figure it out some time now or later.”
When news fthis story broke on NY1, there was immediate outrage from gay and lesbian advocates and caused Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to speak on what was happening. Walcott said the principal, also unnamed, felt she needed to connect with the parent community first because of the nature of the topic. A final decision was made on Friday that Kameron would be allowed to deliver the speech at an assembly at the school on Monday. If any parents have problem with their child hearing the speech, they’re encouraged to contact the principal.
Interesting indeed. There would likely be some children in the audience who would might still be sheltered from knowing about same sex relationships and marriage so to find out from a fellow student might be a bit much. On the other hand, children today learn a lot about social happenings while being in school so it’s possible that it would have been easier to understand coming from a classmate.
Do you think the principal made the correct decision? Would you have been upset if a speech like that was delivered in front of your child? What is a good age to talk to your children aboutgay and lesbian relationships?