Patti LaBelle has enjoyed a strong gay fan base throughout her career. The legendary singer has been a vocal advocate for the LGBT community, returning the favor for the love and support they’ve given her over the years and now, she’s lending that same support to rapper Lil Nas X.
Recently, during an interview with Sirius XM Urban View, host Clay Cane asked Ms. LaBelle about Nas X’s same-sex kiss during his performance at the BET Awards.
In her response, LaBelle proved that she really understands what allyship means.
She told Cane:
“I am really understanding now that people understand people have to live their lives the way they need to live. Sometimes it’s not bad to be yourself. It’s always good to be yourself and let the chips fall, but don’t be afraid and stay in the closet for the rest of your life. Lil Nas X came out, he kissed the man on the BET Awards, and it was what he wanted to do. Does that make him a bad person? No, he did himself. I say keep on doing you.. don’t blow out someone’s candle so yours can light brighter.
Don’t dim anybody, just give the stage and the audience what you have..I’ve been told I have a big mouth, a loud mouth. That’s the voice God gave me. And that’s the one I’m going to use until I leave this planet. And so what I’m saying is there’s room for everybody too. Some people are intimidated by certain people and there is no need to be. Just do you, and don’t step on anybody’s toes, just do you and God will bless you.”
LaBelle said she believes the LGBT community drew closer to her because they knew she wasn’t going to hate on them.
LaBelle’s compassion for the community may not only come from her fan base but also her friendship with fellow singer Luther Vandross.
Throughout his career, there was much speculation that Vandross might have been living in the closet.
Vandross never addressed the rumors. But in 2017, 12 years after Luther passed away, LaBelle confirmed that he was indeed gay and kept his sexuality a secret in an attempt to protect his mother and his fan base.
“We talked about it. Basically, he did not want his mother to be – although she might have known, he wasn’t going to come out and say this to the world.” Labelle said. “And he had a lot of lady fans and he told me the he just didn’t want to upset the world.”
You can watch this portion of LaBelle’s interview in the video below.