Queen Latifah and the Case for Not Coming Out

In a piece for Elixher, Aja Worthy-Davis challenges the presumption that making an announcement about one's sexuality is necessary or even important.

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Queen Latifah (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Writing for Elixher, Aja Worthy-Davis challenges the presumption that making an announcement about one's sexuality is necessary or even important.

Since it was announced that Queen Latifah will be headlining Long Beach Pride Weekend this month, various blogs have wondered whether this was a small, subtle step out of the closet for the entertainer ...

To me, the idea that I must publicly exist either in or out of "the closet" makes a lot of presumptions about my beliefs, my experiences, and what I think is important. I grew up in a pretty gay-friendly New York family. There seemed no fundamental difference to me between my uncles who'd been together for thirty years and my grandparents who'd been together forty. My loud, goofy uncle's hetero marriage seemed just as legitimate to my child eyes as my quiet, distant uncle's marriage to his former husband in Atlanta. Gay and straight couples alike visited my aunt's high-end adult store to spice up their relationship, while I quietly read science fiction in the back room ...

Either way, the presumption that coming out is both a necessary thing and highly-important in the lives of all queer folks is something that I think we'll see change in the near future, and I hope that leads to more celebrities feeling like they can address interest in their sexuality on their own terms, without experiencing a flood of unwanted public attention focused on their private lives. And, as in the case of Queen Latifah, it would be great if celebrities could someday participate in LGBTQ-positive events, or otherwise be community allies, without it being seen as something it likely isn't.

Read Aja Worthy-Davis' entire piece at Elixher.

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