Monday, May 7, 2012

Queen Latifah: In or "Out", it don't matter

Queen Latifah is headlining this year's Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival.  Some people feel that it means the long speculation is over, and she is coming out as a lesbian woman. Others say that it's irresponsible to come to that conclusion and her personal status is just that: personal and no one's business.  I could personally care less whether she comes out or not.  It's her business, but in light of legislation that passed in North Carolina, if she is gay, she would be another light that points out the absurdity of the position of the legislation.

From the Associated Press:
North Carolinians voted to change the state constitution Tuesday to say that the only valid "domestic legal partnership" in the state is marriage between a man and a woman, according to the AP's projection. The amendment passed 61 to 39 percent with most counties reporting, making North Carolina the 29th state to pass a voter ban on gay marriage.

The state already outlawed gay marriage, but the constitutional amendment makes it more difficult for politicians to ever change the law. The amendment also means that a handful of North Carolina municipalities that extended benefits to the domestic partners of their employees will no longer be able to do so, since marriage is now the only valid legal partnership in the state.
The article goes on to say that those opposed to the constitutional ban out-raised and out-advertised the proponents of the law 2 to 1.  However, it was reported that voters were unaware the ban changed the domestic partner status, something which polls say most people in North Carolina support. So the ban was passed.  

Can I just say this is not only ridiculous, it's insane! This to me is why Dana Owens' coming out would be important. This woman has been everything in the black community - positive hip hop artist, comedic actor, talk show host, dramatic movie star, musical theater and jazz singer, cosmetic spokesman…if she ain't the cleanest apple pie American, I don't know what is.  There is barely a hint of scandal to her name.  She holds herself with grace and substance.  She showed the world that big girls can not only be sexy, but CLASSY AND INTELLIGENT.

And this law in North Cackie-lackie (I can say this with impunity since the entire matriarchal side of my family is from south cackie lackie) says that if this woman of substance was in a loving relationship, and her partner was sick in the hospital, she couldn't even be considered the closest family member?!  She couldn't pass her benefits to her partner?  Did all the sense just leak out of people's heads?

Let me postulate something flagrantly outrageous to show how insane this is: Just suppose that I have a thief in my family. So a thief can get married and have the financial, social, and cultural benefits of marriage or for the sake of argument, domestic partnership, but the upstanding, clean citizen can't?! What makes the thief better qualified morally to have these benefits of humanhood? Because he does it in the missionary position?! Really?! 

Though Queen Latifah can keep her personal status personal, I think if she came out as gay, especially in the black community, which has issues with homosexuals, she would put a face on this issue in a way that could not be ignored.  She could be your sister or your favorite aunt.  We all have that cool aunt or older relative that everyone wanted to be around.  Mine was my cousin Deanie. She was gorgeous, smart, and hip; everything I wasn't as a kid. I wanted to be her.  If she was gay and wasn't allowed to get married and have the benefits of at least domestic partnership, I'd be hurt.  Cousin Deanie was wonderful to me and it wouldn't seem fair.  Queen Latifah could be a whole lot of people's Cousin Deanie.  

But more importantly, Latifah stands for positivity in America, especially urban america. People would not be able to ignore a woman of her stature.  She's not wacky Ellen Degeneres or slightly crazy Rosie O'Donnell.  She's Queen - U.N.I.T.Y, sing it with me y'all, that'sa unity! - Latifah.  She's Queen "Who you callin' a Bitch!" Latifah. She is strong, powerful, regal beautiful, QUEEN LATIFAH.  You don't tell queens that they can't marry who they want.  It's just not done.

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