“It’s Called Acting!” Gay Or Bisexual Celebs Who Tend To Play Straight Roles

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Josephine Baker

Similar to Nell Carter, Josephine Baker had a pretty rough start in life. By the time she was thirteen, she’d dropped out of school and was living on the streets of St. Louis. She also got married that year, the first of her three marriages to men. But in addition, it’s well known and highly documented that she carried on numerous affairs with women when she was both married and single. Her son Jean-Claude Baker, co-author of her biography Josephine: The Hungry Heart spoke about them, including her relationship with Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Jean-Claude Baker interviewed over 2,000 people for the book and the affairs came up often. He said,

“She was what today you would call bisexual, and I will tell you why. Forget that I am her son, I am also a historian. You have to put her back into the context of the time in which she lived. In those days, Chorus Girls were abused by the white or black producers and by the leading men if he liked girls. But they could not sleep together because there were not enough hotels to accommodate black people. So they would all stay together, and the girls would develop lady lover friendships, do you understand my English? But wait wait…If one of the girls by preference was gay, she’d be called a bull dyke by the whole cast. So you see, discrimination is everywhere.”

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