Today is National Coming Out Day. This day is an internationally observed civil awareness day focused on the coming out process for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. I thought today would be a great opportunity for me to spotlight 5 openly gay black celebrities. As I sat down to compile my list for what I believed to be the most important, impactful and interesting thing I’ve ever written, I had to come to an abrupt halt. I started out with number one, Wanda Sykes then number two…number two…hmmm number two? After about 10 minutes of googling and finding nothing, I remembered J. Alexander aka Miss J [judge on America's Next Top Model]. Then after another 20 minutes I had to stop completely, I just couldn’t find anyone else [well besides RuPaul]. I had to really ask myself, “who is an openly gay black celebrity?” or, more importantly, “Who is out and has or has had a major influence on the black community”. I still couldn’t really come up with an answer for myself. Sure there are always stories and rumors like she’s dating her trainer or he plays an old black woman with attitude so well because he’s gay, but as we all know rumors are built out of sand. Why must we always have to speculate?
So now I’m left with one more question…why? Why don’t we have more of our gay brothers and sisters that are celebrities and in the spotlight coming out? Are they fearful that the black community will reject them or even ridicule them? Is there no comfort in knowing it’s 2011 and our world [despite having a long way to go] as made amazing strides in acceptance of the members of LGBT communities? Maybe I should be so foolish to believe that they just don’t exist. If they do exist, maybe I’m not paying enough attention.
I understand the desire for privacy as a celebrity, but I also understand the power that celebrities have to touch others. If more would come out and live an open gay lifestyle, many of their fans that struggle with their sexuality can have more people to look up to. There is positively NOTHING wrong with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and so on and it’s important that more openly black, prominent celebrities step forward and convey that message.
Natles [aka Natalie Nicole], everythingYNTK for VIBEVixen.com
Natles | @natnatles on twitter