Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

VIEWS Reigning hip-hop's Queen Latifah outed
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2010-10-01

This article shared 4280 times since Fri Oct 1, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Long before the African-American celebrity gossip, news, popular culture and entertainment blog Bossip.com outed Dana Owens, a.k.a, Queen Latifah with photos of her and gal pal and "personal trainer" Jeanette Jenkins in a tender embrace not for public viewing, the century-long reliable "chitlin' circuit" told us our closeted Queen was "in the life."

Queen Latifah, however, empathically refuted the rumors as scurrilous attacks.

"It's insulting when someone asks, 'Are you gay?' A woman cannot be strong, outspoken, competent at running her own business, handle herself physically, play a very convincing role in a movie, know what she wants—and go for it—without being gay? Come on," Queen Latifah wrote in her 1999 autobiography, Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman.

But when photos from R&B soul diva Alicia Keys' recent nuptials of Queen Latifah and Jenkins intimately embraced aboard a private French yacht in Corsica, France went viral on the Internet the public's long awaited "Gotcha" moment was sad.

"My private life is my private life. Whomever I might be with, I don't feel the need to share it. I don't think I ever will," Queen Latifah said in a November 2007 interview with People magazine, refuting rumors that she's a lesbian.

Hip-hop culture displays a hypermasculinity, and this male-dominated genre is aesthetically built on the most misogynistic and homophobic strains of Black Nationalism and afrocentricism. In 1989, at age 19, Latifah changed the way many of us viewed hip-hop with her hit single, "Ladies First" from her first album All Hail the Queen, rebuking misogynistic lyrics and bringing to young women an uplifting message of self-respect and empowerment.

As one of the most prominent and influential female hip-hoppers of her generation, however, Latifah hides her sexuality as a way to not only survive her own internalized homophobia, but also the musical genre's.

"I feel more comfortable with myself—my sexuality, my mentality and my viewpoint" Latifah told People.

And Latifah's viewpoint, even with these recent damaging photos of her with Jenkins, is hellbent on not disclosing.

What, well, set off the ongoing flurry of queries concerning Latifah's sexual orientation was her portrayal as a butch lesbian in the 1996 movie Set it Off. And the response from the African-American community ranged from applause to outrage.

For her portrayal as "Cleopatra 'Cleo' Sims," Latifah received the American Black Film Festival Award for best actress and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.

But within the hip-hop community Latifah's butch lesbian "Cleo" wasn't well-received; it cast her within this community as a liability, bringing attention to not only her sexual orientation but also bringing attention to the questionable sexual orientations of others. And, Latifah's emphatic denunciation of her lesbianism only fed more curiosity and intrigue about the "down-low" gay and lesbian subculture of hip-hop.

For example, former MTV producer Terrance Dean wrote a page-turning memoir titled Hiding in Hip-Hop: Confessions of a Down Low Brother in the Entertainment Industry depicting his "down-low" dalliances with married Hollywood and hip-hop's leading Black men "living a double life."

"The very men who they think aren't doing anything [ are ] the very men ... hiding in hip-hop," Dean told Danica Dow in a 2008 interview with the hip-hop news website SOHH.com .

Dean's book created enormous fear and angered among many prominent hip-hoppers. In a 2008 SOHH.com interview, hip-hoppers Yung Berg—whose first single, "Sexy Lady," peaked at #18 on the Billboard 100—and Nelly, who's ranked as the 3rd top overall artist of the 2000-2009 decade by Billboard Magazine, talked about Dean's book and the "down-low" gay subculture of hip-hop.

"You could f*ck up a man's happy home," Yung Berg told SOHH.com . "It might be the dude who wear his boxers on backwards every damn day dats getting hit in the ss… homo damn dude u talk about in the book but he probably still got a wife and kids and you might f*ck up his life."

Nelly shared his view on the matter, stating, "Like I played sports a lot, you know, so I'm like 'What goes on in the locker room stays in the locker room.' It's like a guy's sanctuary. You may say some sh*t in here you don't never want to get out there."

Some argue that hip-hop forced Latifah to be closeted. Others argue she had enough clout and crossover appeal to not worry about it. But Latifah, no doubt, did worry about it.

For years Latifah has allegedly held private same-sex parties with all in attendance understanding to be on the "down-low" about it. That intimate and tender embrace Latifah had with her longtime lover aboard a private French yacht in at Keys' wedding was to be on the "down-low," too. But in those perceived stolen moments when you think no one's watching, especially far out in the waters, are really when you're most vulnerable. And it's not because someone snapped a photo of you—rather, it's because you thought you could hide.


This article shared 4280 times since Fri Oct 1, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Theater Review: Billy Elliot, The Musical 2024-02-19
- Book and Lyrics: Lee Hall; Music: Elton John. At: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora Tickets: 630-896-6666 or Paramountaurora.com; $28-$79. Runs through March 24 Billy Elliot: The Musical may nearly be two decades old, but ...


Gay News

REFLECTIONS: An Evening of original music with the Jeannie Tanner Quartet 2024-02-19
--From a press release - REFLECTIONS will be a night of feel-good, upbeat original music written by Jeannie Tanner. Songs range from jazz, to pop, to soulful R&B. Jeannie's music can be heard in many television shows and movies, with recordings ...


Gay News

Lakeside Pride Wilde Cabaret Valentine's Day Feb. 17 2024-02-16
--From a press release - Lakeside Pride Wilde Cabaret puts their own spin on Valentine's Day with a show celebrating things done and sacrificed for love - not just romantic love, but love for pets, friends, family and art. Join the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Hannah Gadsby, video game, Jennifer Lopez, queer thriller 2024-02-16
Video below - Sir Elton John has sold his Atlanta home and is now auctioning off more than 900 of his personal items that were kept in the 13,500-square-foot condo, The Daily Mail noted. The massive collection includes rare ...


Gay News

Wic Whitney spills the Afternoon Tea 2024-02-15
- Born in Arkansas and now based in Chicago, queer performer Wic Whitney is a storyteller with a great deal to say, preaching his Southern soul message through unique vocal stylings as a rapper and singer. This ...


Gay News

CGMC presents Lipstick & Lyrics: Forty & Foxy, A Glamorous Feast for the Senses 2024-02-14
--From a press release - CHICAGO, February 13, 2024 — The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus proudly presents Lipstick & Lyrics: Forty & Foxy, a dazzling, live-singing drag show that celebrates the sensuality and empowerment of middle age. Get ready to unleash ...


Gay News

Cher, Mariah Carey among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees 2024-02-11
- Cher, Mariah Carey among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees On Feb. 10, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for its 2024 class. According to NPR, two-thirds of the artists on the list for "rock's highest ...


Gay News

Dr. Lady J explains how opera can be a drag 2024-02-10
- On Feb. 8, Center on Halsted, in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago, presented a lecture by historian, drag activist, podcaster and curator Dr. Lady J. The event, titled "Castrated Superstars, Cross Dressed Divas, and Queer ...


Gay News

Asians and Friends Chicago to host LGBTQ Lunar New Year Dinner Feb. 24 2024-02-09
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Taking a cross-dressing twist for the Year of the Dragon, members of Asians and Friends Chicago (AFC) will host a dinner-and-drag musical revue, celebrating the Year of the "Drag-on" and bringing together members of the lesbian, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue 2024-02-09
- In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...


Gay News

Women dominate 2024 Grammys 2024-02-05
- It was the year of the woman at the 2024 Grammys. Regarding everything from performances to wins, women dominated the 2024 Grammys that took place Feb. 4 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Tracy Chapman ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Tom Holland, Bowen Yang, Pet Shop Boys, Mariah Carey 2024-02-02
- In the wake of Nigel Lythgoe exiting So You Think You Can Dance, queer personality JoJo Siwa is returning to the series, per Deadline. Siwa, who was a judge on season 17 of the Fox show, will replace Lythgoe, who left ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Sundance items, Green Day, 'Wednesday,' Queerties, 'The Wiz' 2024-01-26
- At the Sundance Film Festival, Jodie Foster told Variety that the $1.4-billion success of Barbie helps confirm that Hollywood no longer views women directors as too much of a risk. She said, "With a big success ...


Gay News

WORLD Arrest in Brazil, athlete dies, Ghana attack, World Economic Forum 2024-01-26
- A 30-year-old man was arrested in Brazil on Jan. 18 for his alleged role in the stabbing murder of prominent NYC art dealer Brent Sikkema, Gay City News reported. Authorities took Cuban resident Alejandro Triana Trevez ...


Gay News

Upcoming Lyric Opera performance Champion explores famed boxer's gay identity 2024-01-21
- Grammy Award-winning composer Terence Blanchard and Tony Award-winning librettist Michael Cristofer's opera, Champion, is set for its Lyric Opera of Chicago debut Jan. 27. It runs through Feb. 11. This contemporary "opera in jazz" features the ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.