Is she or isn’t she?

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah at the 2014 Grammy Awards

One of the highlights of the Grammy Awards this past weekend was when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed their anthem Same Love with Mary Lambert. It wasn’t so much the performance itself that garnered attention but when Queen Latifah presided over the marriage of 33 couples.

While the marriages received the predicted criticism from the expected sources, the Queen herself got some flack as well – for not making it more about her.

People have speculated for years about Queen Latifah’s sexual orientation, with most believing that she is gay. She has always responded by choosing to keep her private life out of the public eye. Such an answer leads to further speculation that continues.

Some say she’s in the “celebrity glass closet”, where celebrities are open about their sexuality to friends and relatives but don’t disclose it in public. This is frustrating for those who feel that gay celebrities should publicly come out and increase the overall presence of people who are openly gay in the entertainment industry.

To do this, they suggest, shows pride in who they are and pride for the overall gay community. To not do this implies shame.

But maybe we are far enough ahead that it is no longer about being proud vs. being ashamed but that there is a third option: it’s not necessary.

If Queen Latifah is in fact “out” to her friends and family, it is possible that she sees that as enough and that it isn’t necessary for her to make an announcement out of it. After all, straight people never have to make the announcement that they are straight or in an “opposite-sex relationship”. Maybe we, as a society, have reached a point where being straight is no longer the default unless otherwise stated and that everybody has a question mark until they clarify one way or another.

Her silence on her orientation, regardless of what it is, is most likely not due to her shame but because she doesn’t see it as being a significant point of discussion. It’s become normal enough that it doesn’t have to be.

Queen Latifah doesn’t owe it to us to “publicly disclose” her orientation. It’s not even about whether or not it’s our business. It’s about reaching the point in our celebrity-obsessed entertainment world where orientation isn’t the point of conversation, but rather how attractive her partner is.


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