Queen Latifah wants to be clear: Despite speculation online, her performance at Long Beach’s Lesbian & Gay Pride event on May 19 was not a signal that she was coming out as a lesbian. “That definitely wasn’t the case,” she tells EW. “I’ve never dealt with the question of my personal life in public. It’s just not gonna happen.”
That said, the 42-year old was thrilled to participate in the event and even recalled an earlier performance for gay audiences. “To me, doing a gay pride show is one of the most fun things,” she says. “My first show that paid more than $10,000 was in a gay club on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. Tupac happened to be in town, so he came to kick it with me. This was the early ’90s. And the boys were like, ‘Take your shirt off, Tupac!’ He wasn’t doing that. But we had a blast in there.”
Latifah — who’s starring in an upcoming remake of Steel Magnolias for Lifetime — also reiterated her support for her gay fans. “I know that the most important thing and the only thing I have to give is love. When people are going through hatred and bullying, the biggest thing to fight that is love,” she says. “So that’s all I encouraged my audience to do that night: to share their light and share their love. Period.” (Reporting by Melissa Maerz)
Check out next week’s issue of EW to see a first look of Queen Latifah in Magnolias.