"The reason I said no wasn't because I wasn't proud of who I was."
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When Raven-Symoné stepped back into the shoes of her character Raven Baxter for the Disney Channel spin-off Raven's Home, which premiered in 2017, it was several years after she had come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. But when she was offered the opportunity for her character to be depicted as a lesbian, she declined.

"I was asked a question, 'Would you like Raven Baxter to be a lesbian?' And I said no," Raven-Symoné revealed on the latest episode of the podcast Pride.

The actress, who has been married to Miranda Pearman-Maday since 2020, told Pride host Levi Chambers that she had a pretty simple reason for turning down the change.

"The reason I said no wasn't because I wasn't proud of who I was, or I didn't want to represent the LGBTQ+ community in any way," Raven-Symoné said. "It was because Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter, and there was no reason for me to change the human that she was in order to fit the actress that played her."

A Disney Channel representative didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment on Raven-Symoné's remarks.

Raven-Symoné
Raven-Symoné
| Credit: Leon Bennett/WireImage

The actress, who played Raven Baxter on That's So Raven from 2003 to 2007, said she wanted to stay true to the character, who was straight in the original series.

"Raven Baxter is a character that I was proud to play — even if she is straight, cisgender, I don't mind. Let her have her moment," she said. "She was divorced though [on the spin-off], and I had no worries about saying, 'No boyfriends.'"

The actress continued: "But yeah, I didn't want to change who she was. And again, when you really start blending your personal self with your character self, it's even harder. Like, I'm stereotyped for the rest of my life — let's just keep it 100. If you ever see me in another character, you see Raven Baxter and that's just what the deal is. And I think the one thing that differentiates me from her is now a lot more."

During the podcast, Raven-Symoné also opened up about her decision to publicly come out in 2013, after gay marriage was legalized in more states, bringing the total at the time to 16.

"I felt as if it was at a moment where I wasn't really ever going to go back to children's television," she recalled. "I felt as if, you know, I'm moving forward in my career, I'm going to start doing more adult things."

After serving as a cohost on The View, eventually returning to the role of Raven for Raven's Home "felt amazing," the actress said on the podcast, though she did have some regrets.

"At the same time I was mad at myself because I could have embraced who I was a lot earlier, and made it a part of the conversation to kind of spearhead the whole entire diversity push," Raven-Symoné said. "But again, during that time of the different sitcoms when I was younger and the first installment of the Raven Baxter character, you know, the talk of my personal life was never something I was allowed or comfortable to talk about. But it feels good to be able to do it now."

Listen to Raven-Symoné on Pride above.

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