Queen Latifah has officially come out of the closet -- at least that’s what several celebrity gossip sites would have you believe. Thanks to an out of context quote from a recent interview with Sister 2 Sister magazine reports of Latifah kicking down the closest door have been sailing through cyberspace.
The rapper turned Academy Award-nominated actress is quoted as telling the magazine, “…I just like ladies who have class. Period. And if it’s “T and A” you’re sellin’, that’s fine, as long as that’s what you’re selling. But you don’t have to show everything, you know? You can hold some back and just be yourself and let your personality shine and let your individuality show. To me, that’s sexier. A confident woman is a sexy woman, in my opinion.”
Viewed out of context, this can be seen has her majesty’s unofficial coming out, but the rest of the quote places Latifah’s meaning into perspective. “...and I think guys find that to be the same way. You don’t have to show everything; you don’t have to put it all out there to attract a guy. Because what kind of guy are you gonna attract? What is he really looking for? If you wanna be a booty call, I guess you can throw it all out there. But if you’re looking for a relationship with someone who respects you and respects things other than your body—your mind, your spirit, your personality, your smile—then you have to kind of exude that more so than just yo’ booty and yo’ titties.”
Latifah has often been the subject of speculation over the years regarding her sexuality -- spurred for the most part by her close relationship with her trainer Jeanette Jenkins -- but she has remained fiercely devoted to keeping the intimate details of her personal life private and even told People magazine in a 2007 interview, “My private life is my private life. Whomever I might be with, I don’t feel the need to share it. I don’t think I ever will.”
This latest rumor follows speculation earlier this summer that her majesty was attempting to comment on the politics of LGBT equality without involving her own life when her character on the prime-time VH1 sitcom Single Ladies came out as lesbian. Latifah, who is also the show’s Executive Producer, raised eyebrows and plenty of controversy with her decision to not only include a lesbian character, but also to play the part herself amid the continually swirling rumors that she is a closeted lesbian. Latifah famously played gay in the 1996 film Set it Off, but that was before rumors about her became so pervasive.
Regardless of which way Latifah swings, her desire to keep a part of her life out of the public eye deserves some respect and the message she is sending with her show Single Ladies is still one worth hearing.