Queen Latifah On Lesbian Sex Scenes

“People feel a type of way when they see any sexuality on-screen. I think it’s almost human nature. People are so fascinated by it. It shouldn’t even be a discussion. But it is, because people are still curious, and people still wonder how they feel about things. At the end of the day I don’t really care if someone feels uncomfortable about it. It is what it is, and it’s life. So you either deal with it or not. It’s just part of who she is, and I had to tell the story honestly.” – Queen Latifah on her lesbian sex scenes in the coming Bessie Smith biopic, which debuts on HBO this weekend.

  • AndyinChicago

    This just sounds like another defense not to come out. No one should care but everyone does. That’s not being debated. What’s debated, and what she’s avoiding, is that by not putting rumors to rest and just coming out it makes her seem ashamed. She has no right to talk about LGBT issues until she puts her money where her mouth is.

    • tomfromthenews

      It certainly is the elephant in the room whenever she’s interviewed, isn’t it?

      • Octavio

        Yup. And it shouldn’t be.

    • LovesIrony

      Sorry, but she indeed does have a right to talk about lgbt issues, we all do. She does not have a right to respect or even to be heard, but she has the right to talk.

      • Tigernan Quinn

        Fuck that. I don’t have to respect an uncle tom and nobody else should have to, either. When an artist puts money before truth, they can go fuck themselves.

        • LovesIrony

          “she does not have a right to respect”

        • lymis

          To me, that might apply to her art, but it doesn’t translate to her private life.

          The “truth” of her private life is that she has no obligation to share it with the media. Be nice if she did. She doesn’t have to.

      • lymis

        And since she’s not claiming any special moral superiority, but simply saying “nobody should have a problem with it,” I can live with it.

      • Gerry Fisher

        It’s not about rights, IMO. Reading this quote clued me in that the evasion involved in presenting her own sexuality has rippled into how she presents the sexuality of her character. She wants to express her character’s sexuality publicly, but we shouldn’t be fascinated with it or discuss it. Her own situation is meddling with her ability to say something sensible about her art, IMO.

    • another_steve

      Yes, and the argument some closeted celebrities use — “My private life is my business” — is highly questionable.

      I mean… What straight celebrity will reply “My private life is my business” when asked if they’re straight or gay?

      • stanhope

        Keeanu Reeves 🙂

        • another_steve


          Does boyfriend have something to hide, pray tell?

          (The very thought of Keanu Reeves gives me an erection, btw.)

          • stanhope

            That Paula Abdul video says everything to me sigh LOL

    • Gerry Fisher

      It’s a similar situation to that of Jody Foster. I get why leading women in the 80s and 90s didn’t want to come out early in their career due to concerns about being excluded from certain romantic roles. Having said that, in this century, once you’re career is established by a few decades, what the heck is the professional risk to coming out, really?

      Do you have a right to remain closeted? Sure! Should we all pretend that your excuses are making a lot of sense at this point in your life and career? No! The longer it goes on, the more absurd it feels.

      • Steve Weinstein

        Jody Foster has done a “soft” coming out. I believe she was — not without reason, considering her personal history — very concerned about some John Hinkley type going after her then-partner and her children.

  • Gustav2

    Oh honey, just doing what comes naturally to you, right?

  • oikos

    Tell your own story honestly.

    • Gerry Fisher

      They can do that in a Latifah biopic after she’s dead.

      • Anastasia Beaverhousen

        She playing this role, she played “When your good to Mama” Morton in Chicago, perhaps she’s trying to tell us something?

    • MarkOH


    • I should really know better

      I LOVED how Armistead Maupin called her out for performing gay marriages while herself cowering in the closet like the spineless woman she is. I have no patience for her.

    • VodkaAndPolitics

      Believe it or not, just last week I finally came out of the closet to business contacts and clients. Turns out all of my worst fears were completely and totally imaginary.

      • oikos

        It’s really not an issue anymore for most people. Chances are they already know someone else who is also gay. These actors who have more money than I ever will shouldn’t be afraid either. Unless you live in some rural backwoods where you might in danger revealing who you are or you are underage and your parents are fundies, the days of fear are quickly fading away.

      • Kenster999

        Huzzah! Good for you, and congratulations!

        Want to share any stories about how you did it and how it went?

  • Bj Lincoln

    Just come out already! Take a stand one way or another.

  • bkmn

    Drama queens can be so tiring.

    • Todd20036

      Then you might not want to watch the GOP debates.

      • bkmn

        Why would I want to punish myself?

        • People4Humanity

          I enjoy seeing short highlights, no sound.

  • Lars De

    Oh, like she doesn’t own an Ani DiFranco album.

    • earnit

      I sure as hell don’t.

    • JCF

      Ani. If you’re going for longstanding stereotypes, I’d go w/ Indigo Girls. Or currently, Tegan & Sara.

  • TommyTune

    And once again she can’t answer the simple question: do you love boys, girls, both, or none of the above? Honestly, this is getting really tedious. Better if she were to say nothing at all on the subject of sex, period.

    • Gerry Fisher

      If she’s partnered, I feel for that person. The partnership ceases to exist as soon as Latifah goes on a press junket for a show, album, or concert. I wouldn’t want to be erased like that.

  • bryan

    Closet Queen.

  • Skinny Bitches

    Oh Sweet Lord Jesus, please tell me it was Latoofah and Mo’Nique “gittin’ down with the git down”! Now that would be one sweet bucket of chocolate lesbian funk!

  • I should really know better

    Joe, you forgot to add the “Closet Cases” tag.

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    “It is what it is, and it’s life. So you either deal with it or not. It’s just part of who she is, and I had to tell the story honestly.”

    She says about playing someone else.

  • Todd20036

    I’m curious only because the only lesbian sex scenes I’ve seen were as a young kid when I watched straight porn. Nearly every movie had at least one scene, and I strongly suspect that a lesbian scene meant to be viewed by straight people is different than one meant to be viewed by other lesbians.

    • KCMC

      Color Purple?
      Relationships more than sex scenes have been around for a while, no?

      • Circ09

        True. But that was also done as comfort to a straight audience instead of about showing reality of life. Spielberg intentionally straight-washed Color Purple. I would say that most straight people watching that movie when it was released did not realize that Cilla and Shug were having sex. My mother was one of them until we watched the movie again together years later. Homosexuality just wasn’t on her radar in the 80s and that blinkeredness is what the movie version intentionally played to.

    • JCF

      Considering every “lesbian scene” meant to be viewed by straight people usually has a guy around before, after or DURING, uh, yeah. But Bessie was bi, so this may be no different (not that bi women can’t have pure, unadulterated lesbian sex sans guy, but this movie is targetted to lesbians, is it?)

    • Circ09

      Dee Rees, an amazing young director and a lesbian, directed this movie so I have high hopes that the scenes between women will be done with a lot of integrity. Her movie Pariah is a really good queer coming of age story.

  • hdtex

    This looks really, really good. DVR is set. This is the role she was born to play…

  • William

    And this was the first time she was ever in bed with another woman. Got it.

  • fuow

    I can’t say it bothers me as much when lesbians stay closeted as gay men – unless they’re politicians, in which case they need to be outed with maximum harm to them – but, really, it would be nice if she came out.

    James Franco has done everything but film penetration and ejaculation sequences with men and he insists his sexual orientation is not gay or bisexual or anyone’s business.

    Perhaps it’s a generational thing?

    • Octavio

      Well, in Franco’s case I believe it’s because he’s just a hypersexual hamster. If given the opportunity, he would most likely fuck everyone in the room (so to speak). 🙂

      • BobSF_94117

        IIRC, he would fuck the women and all-but-fuck the guys. Of course, that was from a few months ago, so who knows…

    • KCMC

      bear lover

  • TheManicMechanic

    More beating around the bush…

    • fuow

      You’re a naughty, naughty boy. Come sit down by me and we’ll sneer at the PC-Nazis, together.

      • 2karmanot

        I’ll bring a bench and make a party of it!

    • stanhope

      Queen Latifah to flunky on set: Did somebody say bush was the commissary special today?

  • Tigernan Quinn

    HA HA HA. Yeah, Latifah. You sure are a great actress, acting like a lesbian. Method acting, you might say.

  • Gerry Fisher

    “I want to do a performance that pushes some buttons socially, but y’all are pervs for focusing on what makes it edgy, it shouldn’t be talked about anyway, and I don’t care what y’all think.” ?!

    Lack of clarity in discussions about her own sexuality seem to have rippled into a lack of clarity about expressions of same-sex love in her art.

  • lymis

    I’d prefer it if she stopped being transparently coy.

    But I won’t condemn someone unless they move from “not discussing it” to trading on it by working against the LGBT community, or trying to float a clearly false hetero image.

    The Jodi Foster, “I don’t discuss it at all, next question” approach is one thing. The Ricky Martin, “Really, she’s my girlfriend, honest, we just live on different continents and never see each other” crap, something else again.

    She’s universally pro-LGBT as it applies to others. She gets credit for that, because she could easily choose not to be. The personal stuff? No admiration, but no condemnation, either. It’s not as though she’s passing anti-gay legislation.

    • Halloween_Jack

      I’m pretty convinced that the only reason that she hasn’t come out directly is plain ol’ stubbornness. Her, Jodie Foster, and Joan Jett are all of about the same generation, roughly.

  • Bill

    I love her, but I don’t respect her.

  • pablo

    I heard she went method for this role.

  • Paula

    Latifah has her own reality.

  • WildGift

    Deflect and diminish. Great.

  • TJay229

    “What’s understood…. Doesn’t need to be discussed”

    • JCF

      Yeah, my straight female “close friends” don’t usually rest their hands on (caress) my @ss…

      • Circ09

        What is so sad is that in response to those tabloid pics on the boat, Jeanette Jenkins did interviews stating she is neither gay or bi. At least Owens has the sense these days to just not comment instead of outright lie.

  • stanhope

    Method acting at it’s finest!

  • Jeffrey

    I’ll say what I usually say about closet homos; it’s her business if she wants to come out, but just think of the positive impact she could have on questioning young women.

  • James

    LOL at pathetic closet case saying she has to portray openly bisexual woman’s story “honestly.”

  • KCMC

    Unique challenges for women of color?
    Unfair to compare to white child actor, ivy league educated Jody?

  • JCF

    “So you either deal with it or not. It’s just part of who she is, and I had to tell the story honestly.”

    And the award for Lack of Self-Awareness goes to . . . the former Dana Owens!

  • e jerry powell

    I take comfort in the knowledge that the film doesn’t straight-wash Bessie Smith. It was a legitimate concern in my mind.