This month saw the ‘coming out’ of three well known personalities; Diana King, Frank Ocean and CNN presenter Anderson Cooper. Coming out for those of you who may be a bit clueless is the act of revealing to the public one’s non straight sexual orientation.
In the US entertainment industry — which is far more liberal than Kenya — this act is usually lauded. In fact, the general public would rather believe you are an asexual prude with sociopathic tendencies than be privy to the fact that you are gay.
And yes, there are gay people in Kenya’s entertainment scene. Will we ever see a formal coming out? Perhaps not. It’s also noteworthy that technology is increasingly playing a role in coming out...
If you look at Diana King, the only thing that would have possibly hinted at her lesbian status, going by the butch lesbian stereotype, would have been her short buzz cut. And anyway, when Shy Guy came out, short buzz cuts were the in thing — which just goes to show that there really is no one size fits all gay images.
Diana King decided to ‘come out’ on her Facebook fan page saying: “My name is Diana Eugena King, known to most as Diana King. My fans call me King Singa. I am woman...mother... aunt...Jamaican...American...international artist..! Among other things and yes... I am a lesbian ...the answer to my most asked indirect question.”
She is the first ragga artiste to come out as gay and according to pundits, this is monumental because dancehall has a reputation of being blatantly abusive of same sex relations.
Possibly the most talked about showbiz news in July 2012. Frank Ocean, the brilliant songwriter who penned hits for Brandy, Justine Beiber and John Legend, as well as the classic hook to Jay Z and Kanye West’s song No Church in the Wild ( human beings in a mob, what’s a mob to a king what’s a king to a God, what’s a God to a non believer who don’t believe in anything...) came out as a bisexual. He made his revelation via an open letter on his blog.
In the note Frank Ocean admitted that his first love, at the age 19, was a guy. His revelation was lauded by his industry mates while critics wondered whether or not it was a publicity stunt. He later commented: “A lot of people have said it was ‘courageous’ since that news came out. I suppose a percentage of that act was because of altruism; because I was thinking of how I wished at 13 or 14 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way.”