A lot of people remember Queen Latifah playing Cleopatra “Cleo” Sims in the beloved film Set It Off. In the movie, she was a bank robber pushed to the limits when faced with harsh economic realities.
In an interview with Tracee Ellis Ross for InStyle Magazine, Queen Latifah reveals it was a hard career decision to become Cleo. She said, “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. 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.’”
Considering how different the political and pop-culture climate was for Black LGBT Americans twenty years ago, Queen Latifah’s statement reflects a lot of truth. Queen Latifah continues to be supportive of LGBT issues today, even officiating a gay wedding at the 2014 Grammys.
1. In 2015, Miley Cyrus revealed that she identifies as sexually fluid, telling Paper magazine, "I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age."
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2. Ricky Martin shocked the world when he came out as gay in 2010. The father of two once revealed, “I know that I like both men and women, I’m against sexual labels."
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3. After photos surfaced of her making out with Michelle Rodriguez, Cara Delevingne came clean about her bisexuality, saying, "It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognized that I had to accept it."
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4. Frank Ocean captivated the world with his songs about love and women. When he opened up about his experience falling in love with a guy, he garnered the attention of many more.
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5. Lady Gaga has been open about her sexuality since the beginning of her career. After naysayers claimed it was all for marketing, she said, "This is who I am and who I have always been.”
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6. After coming under fire for using the F bomb multiple times on social media, Azealia Banks defended herself, saying "I can't be homophobic. I'm bisexual."
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7. Amber Rose has never been shy about her sexuality. She even openly admitted to being in a relationship with a girl, way before her Kanye days.
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8. David Bowie was one of the most notable artists of all time, whose sexuality and gender bent all of the traditional rules.
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9. Mel B once revealed that she was in a four-year relationship with a woman before.
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10. In 2013, Zoe Saldana said that she "might end up with a woman raising my children. I’ve been attracted to the male species, but if one day I wake up and want to be with a woman, I will do that because it is my life, therefore it is my decision.”
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11. Megan Fox told Esquire Magazine once, “I have no question in my mind about being bisexual."
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12. Angelina Jolie has always been open about her bisexuality. She once told OK Magazine, “I have loved women in the past and slept with them."
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Continue reading Hard To Play Gay? Queen Latifah Explains…
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