Coming off the heels of the story of Magic Johnson, who announced yesterday that he loves and supports his gay son, comes another well known and well liked celebrity discussing that she would have the same reaction as Johnson. Actress, mother of two, and wife of Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith spoke with HuffPostLive today promoting a new film project and also to discuss what she would do if one of her children were gay. Here’s more:
Actress and producer Jada Pinkett Smith dropped by Huff Post Live to chat about the new film she produced, “Free Angela And All Political Prisoners,” her marriage to Will Smith and raising children in Hollywood.
When asked how she would respond if either of her children, Jaden or Willow, both stars themselves, came out as gay, she answered, “I would support [them]. For me, I just want my kids to be happy. As long as they’re happy… As long as they’re living the lives that fulfill them, I’m good.”
Pinkett Smith isn’t the first celebrity parent to speak out on offering support to gay children — potential or actual. Magic Johnson’s gay son, Earvin Johnson III, was seen with his unidentified boyfriend for the first time on Monday, April 1. Magic and his wife, Earlitha “Cookie” Kelly, told TMZ “[We] love EJ and support him in every way… We’re very proud of him.”
It’s also important to note that Pinkett discussed how older African Americans may still view homosexuality or as she referred to it as “alternative lifestyle” as a last resort which she passionately disagrees with. It is hard to decipher if Pinkett herself felt that being gay is a choice which is frustrating both as a blogger and a fan of her work and as a gay man. I hope if ever she is asked about this particular scenario she described in the clip that she clarifies what she meant.
We are seeing more and more celebrities and politicians that are African American speak up and support LGBT rights over the past year. No doubt as the result of President Obama’s evolution lends support to the theory of “not wanting to be the first to say it” is why we’ve seen this snowball effect in the media. Now more than ever we have seen rappers that were once known for their homophobic slurs in their lyrics speak out for gay rights. It’s interesting to see how the country has been so passionately interested in the opinion of African Americans on this issue when not too long ago, in any other social issue, the incentive for answers towards this community may not have been so hard sought after.
While writing this I asked myself the question if I were writing this more because it leads into the discussion of Magic Johnson’s son, Earvin, coming out or if it is to show further proof that the African American community is not as homophobic as society sometimes depicts. A few theories may surround why this is a common belief, including the fact that as the African American community is seen as the last group in our nation’s history that has faxed oppression and discrimination (that does still exist). That in turn outrages some when African Americans that are homophobic from the LGBT community should understand the current struggle of the gay civil rights movement.
And unfortunately when a negative opinion is held by one member of a minority group, it is believed by the rest of society that all members of that community have the same beliefs. This is generalization and it is reflected on LGBT and African American community. That’s why it’s so vital to share stories of this to show that now more than ever we all need to look at each other as individuals and not community that we are associated with as we are more than a category.