Queen Latifah: My performance at a gay pride parade was not a coming out

by Tolu Orekoya

For years speculation has dogged rapper/actress/singer Queen Latifah, 42, on her sexuality, especially when the photo below came to light. She refused to talk about it insisting that she wants her private life to stay private.

Well, online rumours exploded again when the queen performed at the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride event on May 19, where she said she was proud to be among “her people” and told the audience “to conquer hate with love” and to “let their inner  light shine in the world”, according to website Towleroad. She continued,  “I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time.”

Despite that, she told Entertainment Weekly (EW) that it was not her coming out at all. “That definitely wasn’t the case,” she told EW. “I’ve never dealt with the question of my personal life in public. It’s just not gonna happen.”

She is recalled she had a long history of performing before gay audiences, and told EW a story of her performing back in the ’90’s with Tupac in front of a gay audience in San Fransisco, California. “To me, doing a gay pride show is one of the most fun things,” she says. “My first show that paid more than $10,000 was in a gay club on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. Tupac happened to be in town, so he came to kick it with me. This was the early ’90s. And the boys were like, ‘Take your shirt off, Tupac!’  He wasn’t doing that. But we had a blast in there.”

She is also very supportive of her fans saying, “I know that the most important thing and the only thing I have to give is love. When people are going through hatred and bullying, the biggest thing to fight that is love,” she says. “So that’s all I encouraged my audience to do that night: to share their light and share their love. Period.”

Latifah is set to star in a film remake of the stageplay-turned-film ‘Steel Magnolias’ titled, ‘Magnolias’.

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