Raven-Symone is opening up about her sexuality, explaining that she wasn’t sure she would ever come out.
The child actress, who is now a co-host on The View, talks about her sexuality in the third season of It Got Better — the It Gets Better project-inspired series of revealing testimonials. She says,
Being on television sets from age three to age 30, I’m more comfortable there. You create a family with these people that’s sometimes are closer to you than your own family. It’s not very healthy later in life.
My likeness… however you see it at that time, had 15 people dictating what I should and should not look like. If I did whatever I want, it’s not gonna sell. It doesn’t go with the brand. I was branded at such a young age.”
Raven-Symone says that when she was younger, she was aware of her sexuality, but didn’t want to share it with anyone.
I kinda pushed myself to look for boys. I look back now like, ‘Woah, you like girls.’ I didn’t wanna tell my parents. I had the number one show on Disney. I had multiple albums, I’d been on tour with *NSYNC… I didn’t wanna deal with that.”
I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn’t matter. It was only what was supposed to be sold as the Raven-Symone brand.
She says that over time, concealing one’s sexuality “eats at your soul.” So when she left the industry and went to college, Raven-Symone came out. And fell in love.
I didn’t have to have a ‘beard.’ I didn’t have to have a man standing by me. I felt lighter, I felt like I could go out and not have to put on 17 different hats to be myself.
See the clip.