Why is Raven Symoné's sexuality your business?

CLUTCH MAGAZINE – As long as there are celebrities, and people are curious about their lives, there will always be celebrity gossip. The media has recently been a flutter with the rumor that Raven Symoné may potentially be in a same sex relationship with _America’s Next Top Model beauty AzMarie Livingston. Ms. Symoné took to Twitter recently to respond to the speculation.

Raven is not the only celebrity whose private life has been speculated about like this. Will Smith, Queen Latifah, and Anderson Cooper all face ongoing questions about their sexuality and all have refused to comment, preferring instead to keep their private life private. A refusal to answer in the minds of many constitutes affirmation that one is indeed a member of the LGBTQ community.

These inquires arise because we live in a heterosexist world, which assumes everyone is straight, thus turning homosexuality into something that must be divulged. If a celebrity plays a role in which they are a LGBTQ character, or sits too close to someone of the same sex, the rumors are off and flying. Will Smith didn’t even actually kiss his co-actor in Six Degrees of Separation and has been married to Jada for many years, yet still people continue to question his sexuality.

There can be no doubt that out celebrities serve as positive reminders that LGBTQ people are present in our society. In the case of LGBTQ youth, this can be especially helpful because it shows them that they are not alone, and that they are not deviant. The pressure for an individual celebrity to come out, however, normally has very little to do with affirming the life of LGBTQ people and very much to do with marking them as “other.”