Raven-Symoné had an interesting chat with Oprah Winfrey in a episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now, talking about her sexuality, as well as her cultural identity, and how she hates being labeled as any one thing.
Confirming what many already knew, the actress confessed that she was indeed in a relationship with a woman. Back in August 2013, after the Supreme Court ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstituion, Raven tweeted cryptically, “I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you!” She stated in the interview, “That was my way of saying I’m proud of the country. But, I will say that I’m in an amazing, happy relationship with my partner. A woman.” The former child star also added, “People in my family, they’ve taught me to keep my personal life to myself as much as possible. So, I try my best to hold the fence where I can,” Raven added. “But I am proud to be who I am and what I am.”
Raven admitted that she knew she was interested in women at around 12, but doesn’t want to be labeled as gay. “I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans,” she said. She went further to denounce being labeled as African American. “I’m an American. I’m not an African American; I’m an American,” she said. “I don’t know where my roots go to,” the actress went into more explanation. “I don’t know how far back they go…I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American. And that’s a colorless person.” When Oprah warned her that she was “going to get a lot of flak for saying [she’s] not African American,” Raven waved it off saying, “I don’t label myself. I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with Black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.”
Raven also revealed how she managed to stay out the tabloids, keeping her personal life personal, and not following down the path of other child stars that ended up in trouble. “My parents taught me to keep my private life private to the best of my ability,” she said. “They showed me out there all the role models that I could turn into and what I want from myself in the future and seeing all of the statistics [with] child stars going off the edge.”
I completely agree with her keeping her personal life quiet. Even as a part of the media myself, it stuns me sometimes just how far people will go to get the dirt on others. Kudos to her! I also agree with her not wanting one label to define her. At the end of the day, she’s Raven, not “gay” Raven, “child star” Raven, etc. There’s different facets to her person, as there are to every individual. I sort of disagree with her statement about her cultural label. In a way, I get what she means, but her statement comes like she’s denouncing her culture completely, which I’m sure will offend others. Yes, you can connect with other cultures, but you should be proud of and want to know more specifics about your own. Just my thoughts.
Check out a part of the interview below!
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