The View co-host Raven-Symone says she wasn’t sure she would ever come out.
Talking about her sexuality in the third season of It Got Better, she says
Being on television sets from age three to age 30, I’m more comfortable there. You create a family with these people that’s sometimes are closer to you than your own family.”
But she goes on to caution,
It’s not very healthy later in life. My likeness… however you see it at that time, had 15 people dictating what I should and should not look like. If I did whatever I want, it’s not gonna sell. It doesn’t go with the brand. I was branded at such a young age.”
The former child actress says she was aware of her sexuality by age 12, she nevertheless felt compelled to hide that from the world.
I kinda pushed myself to look for boys. I look back now like, ‘Woah, you like girls.’ I didn’t wanna tell my parents. I had the number one show on Disney. I had multiple albums, I’d been on tour with *NSYNC… I didn’t wanna deal with that.
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-Symone brand.”
While concealing her sexuality is something she felt she had to do in her career, Raven-Symone admits, over time, “that eats at your soul.”
However, when she stepped away from the industry and went to college, she finally came out. And fell in love.
I didn’t have to have a ‘beard.’ I didn’t have to have a man standing by me. I felt lighter, I felt like I could go out and not have to put on 17 different hats to be myself.”
In addition to Symone, the third season of It Got Better also features testimonials from Sir Ian McKellen, Candis Cayne, Adam Lambert, EJ Johnson, and Wanda Sykes.