TV star Raven-Symoné opens up about how Disney made her hide her sexuality
Life-long TV star Raven-Symoné has opened up about how her Disney days influenced her decision not to come out sooner.
The television star spoke to It Gets Better to say she had so many people around her telling her how to manage her image that it went further than that.
The 30-year-old said: “My likeness… had 15 people dictating what I should and should not look like, if I did whatever I want, I’m not gonna sell ’cause it doesn’t go with the brand. I was branded at such a young age.”
Going on, she said the pressure to maintain a sellable self-brand led her to hide her sexual orientation.
“My awareness of my sexuality was prevalent to me at 12, but there was some things younger in like the single digits. I had friends that I experimented with, but I never went far because I knew that this can’t be talked about,” she went on.
She said she forced herself to date boys, and was so ashamed of being gay that she had a homophobic reaction to Ellen DeGeneres coming out.
Going on, she said: “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-Symoné’ brand.”
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But eventually the star said she fell in love, left the entertainment industry behind and came to terms with her own sexual orientation.
She adds: “If I had to speak to someone that was going through a problem in their life that feels too large to even deal with, the good news is: It will pass. You’ll get bumps and bruises. But if you stick through it, people forget.
“People forget and time goes on and hopefully you learn from it. Don’t stress. Learn how to deal with it now that you’re young. Openness is most important because it doesn’t matter what you see me as and you label me. It’s what I label myself [that matters]”
Check out the video by Symoné below: