“It was a ‘hard decision’ to take gay role in 1996’s Set it Off,” Says Queen Latifah

“It was a ‘hard decision’ to take gay role in 1996’s Set it Off,” Says Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah has steadfastly refused to discuss persistent rumours about her sexuality.

But she has not refused to play queer characters on screen including bisexual singer Bessie Smith in the acclaimed HBO movie, Bessie, last year.

But 21 years ago, the Oscar-nominated actress agonized when offered another queer role in the 1996 film, Set It Off.

“When I got the role of amateur bank robber Cleo Sims in Set It Off, I sat down with my younger siblings and told them, ‘Listen, I’m playing a gay character. Your classmates might tease you or say negative things about it,’” Latifah tells Huffington Post.

She also told the siblings: “But I’m doing it because I believe I can bring positive attention to the gay African-American community, and I believe that I can do a great job as an actor.”

Latifah now says: “They understood, and when those things inevitably happened in school, they were OK with it.”

Latifah remains mum about her own sexuality after all these years.

Some thought she might come out last year when she won a GLAAD Media Award for Bessie. Instead, she dedicated the award to the LGBTI people in her family including ‘my cousins who are gay’ and her aunt, ‘a lesbian who raised me … my inspiration. (She) taught me how to be a loved person.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous YOUR POISON
Next 10 Reasons Why We're In Love With Justin Trudeau

About author

You might also like

The Happenings 12 Comments

Taylor Swift Is the Highest Paid Woman in Music

It comes as no surprise that Taylor Swift is the highest-paid female artist in music today and sits at the top spot on Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Women in Music list,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Happenings 10 Comments

Hozier Calls Out Pope Francis On Hypocrisy, Says Church Offers Excuse For Homophobia

“This is one of the paradoxes and weird hypocrisy of that organization. The Pope came out last year and said who am I to judge with regards to somebody’s sexual

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Happenings 6 Comments

“Being With Lauren Taught Me Self-Love.” Samira Wiley And Lauren Morelli Tell Their Love Story

Most of us know the general tale of Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli falling in love on the set of Orange is the New Black. That Wiley was an actress

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 Comments

  1. Mandy
    February 17, 07:48 Reply

    We’ve come a very long way from 1996. For someone like Trevante Rhodes (the adult Chiron in Moonlight) to take on a gay role as his first feature role. Something a black male actor would never think to do in the 80s and 90s.

    • Absalom
      February 17, 12:11 Reply

      Even a white actor would have been brave to take on the role in the 80s.

  2. Pankar
    February 17, 13:37 Reply

    Wait… But Queen Latifah is out and proud.?

    • Francis
      February 17, 16:13 Reply

      She’s out but doesn’t discuss it….Just like straight folks don’t discuss their bedroom matters

Leave a Reply