Recently Jussie Smollett was interviewed by Tracy G when he appeared on Sway in The Morning. He was obviously asked about Empire and the fact that he was being called the queen of gay black television.
When he was asked if it was right that people just assumed he was gay he said:
“No. But it’s also fair and I don’t see a problem with that and I don’t really care.”
Then they asked him to confirm if he was gay and he said:
“I’m not willing to confirm or deny anything. I live my life. If someone’s looking for a box to put me in, then that’s not going to happen. But I live my life. If you really want to know about me, just watch because I don’t hide anything. I just choose not to talk about my personal life.”
I have heard many people who are gay express the same sentiment, they do not want to be placed in a box, or locked into a specific set of circumstances dictated by other people, and I get it, you cannot get to normal if who you are having sex with is always so sensationalized.
Furthermore who wants their sexuality to be the only thing people care about or want to talk about especially when you are in a fantastic space in your career with loads more going for you.
Here are two reasons it shouldn’t matter if someone is gay or not:
1. People who are hetrosexual are not asked to declare their sexuality
We might be interested in who some one is sleeping with especially if it is a celebrity but when people have a hunch that you are female and like boys, chances are they will not ask you if you like boys.
But if you are female and gay, chances are if you are in an interview that will be the first question the interviewer will want you to answer.
2. Being ‘normal’ and taboo cannot coexist
The more taboo homosexuality is the less ‘normal’ it will be for people who are homosexual. This is a catch 22 however because since the idea of homosexuality can be taboo especially the black community there is more of a push to bring awareness and push for equal rights.
Jussie’s sexuality is a very hot topic and like him we wish it wasn’t such a big deal, he is a great actor not just a great ‘black gay actor’ and Empire is not just about being black and gay it is so much more than than that. His relationships are just part of the story line plain and simple.
It would certainly be a shame for Jussie to be always known as the guy that can only be gay in a movie or TV show, we are sure his repertoire is so much more than who he is sleeping with.