Raven Symoné Says Disney-Star Status Kept Her In The Closet

Photo: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock.
Raven Symoné never thought she would come out. For her, being on one of America's favorite sitcoms, The Cosby Show, and then becoming a Disney star meant keeping her sexual orientation in the closet, which she says ate at her soul.

"I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn't matter," The View co-host shared in the Lexus L/Studio docuseries It Got Better. "It only mattered what could be sold as part of the Raven Symoné brand."
Advertisement

Landing her breakout role as Olivia Huxtable on The Cosby Show in 1989 when she was three years old changed Simoné's life. But it had personal costs.

"Being on television sets from age three 'til age 30, I'm more comfortable there," Symoné says. "I know what lines I'm supposed to say. Somebody else picks my clothes for me. I have makeup done. I have hair done. And you create a family with these people that sometimes are closer to you than your own family.

Her sexuality, meanwhile, was an unscripted part of her life that didn't fit neatly into the public persona she had crafted since early childhood.

"At that age, you have to compartmentalize when you're in the public eye," Symoné shared.

Although she realized she was gay at 12 years old, Symoné said she tried to make herself like boys, even convincing herself she would marry a man at some point. As a teenager, Symoné realized it wasn't worth sacrificing her identity to maintain a pristine — and straight — Hollywood image.

"I went to college. I felt good," Symoné says, in the series. "I had support there beyond belief, and that was the first time I felt like I didn't have to have a beard. I didn't have to have a man standing beside me because I [was] in love with a girl."
Advertisement

More from Pop Culture

Earlier this week, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts announced their separation, ending their 11-year relationship. Their split tears at our freshly mended ...
Nick Jonas has already gone solo musically, but it seems he'd now like to do the same in his personal life. The single JoBro told Los Angeles ...
Justin Bieber's presence is requested in Florida, but, unfortunately for him, not by his fans. According to TMZ, a judge has ordered Bieber to come back...
Jeb Bush has been a Florida governor and a presidential candidate. His latest gig? Comedian, apparently. In an opening sketch for the Emmys, Jimmy ...
Another week of Fantasy Football means another week of triumph, or in my case, heartbreak. My team, Good Better Besser, lost again this week. And to add ...
Single? Find yourself a John Legend. The man knows exactly what to say when his wife, model and social media guru Chrissy Teigen is brought up. In his ...
Justin Theroux is one year into his union with Jennifer Aniston, and he's happily married. His secret to success: kindness. The Girl on the Train star ...
Jennifer Garner's most important alias of the past decade has definitely been her role as a mother. The 44-year-old has three children (Violet, 10, ...
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna aren't broken up after all, y'all. They just are a experimenting with living in separate homes until the baby arrives, ...
Kim Kardashian West was assaulted on the street in Paris yesterday by Vitalii Sediuk. The serial celebrity stalker grabbed Kardashian's leg and tried to ...
We can't keep track anymore. First Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris were together. Then they broke up and Taylor started dating Tom Hiddleston while Calvin ...
Are you sick of hearing about the Taylor Swift-Kimye feud? Yeah, so is Kim Kardashian. The reality star and business mogul has had tension with Swift ...
As her husband Jay Z likes to remind us, "B.K. is from Texas." It's fitting, then, that Beyoncé's home state is paying homage to her groundbreaking work...
Ariel Winter has faced more than her fair share of criticism lately. The 18-year-old actress has taken to social media to share body-positive photos of her...