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Jussie Smollett confesses to being a gay man who’s not opposed to women

Photo credit: Fox/Chuck Hodes

Photo credit: Fox/Chuck Hodes

“Empire” heartthrob Jussie Smollett is finally opening up about his sexuality. Last year, when he was asked about his romantic preference, he avoided getting specific, but in a recent interview with Out magazine, the actor gets very candid about his orientation and how the “Empire” crew felt about his coming out.

“I am a gay man with an extremely open heart,” Smollett said. “God, I’ve never had to talk about this, so I’m trying to find the words. If I had to label myself, I would label myself as a gay man. With that said, I believe that love is the only thing that matters, and I would hope that anybody would leave themselves open — not to gender, but to love. I would hope that people would not close themselves off from what could be if, lo and behold, you meet somebody that just sweeps you off your feet, and you just can’t do anything about it. If we truly believe that we are born this way, then why do we try to stifle the way we were born? If I fall in love down the road with a woman, I’m going to love that woman.”

Although the 32-year-old had come out to his parents at 19 and he had already played the role of a couple gay characters throughout his career, he wasn’t ready to officially come out to the world when people became more curious about his orientation a year ago. He said he wasn’t thrilled about his sexuality possibly becoming a “storyline” that would follow him forever once he finally came out.

He came close to spilling the beans when he was a guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” around the time when “Empire” was just blowing up. “I was like two months deep into this fame thing,” he remembered.

DeGeneres didn’t ask him about his sexuality during the interview, and Smollett said that afterwards, she told him he didn’t have to talk about it, which not only made him appreciate her for her kindness, but made him actually want to open up about it. So when the cameras were set up again backstage and he was given another opportunity to out himself, he told viewers, “There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in.”

Now that Smollett is getting more comfortable discussing his orientation, he says that it was never the people behind his hit show who objected to him discussing it. He said everyone, including his co-star, Taraji P. Henson, was supportive.

“She said, ‘Who gives a f—? I don’t tell these motherf—ers that I’m straight. Why the f— do you have to tell them that you’re gay?’ That was so O.G., and it just made me love her even more,” he said.

He admitted that it was actually his desire to speak out about issues plaguing the Black community that was met with apprehension, like when he revealed he was going to Washington, D.C. to speak at the March 2 Justice and help with presenting a police brutality legislative package to Congress.

“I was told by two executives, ‘You know, maybe just wait. Just wait,’” he recalled. “You mean to tell me just because I make movies and TV and music that I can’t talk about what’s going on in the world I live in? Really? That’s not fair. Forget that. Because I’m scared that maybe viewership is going to go down? Or my next single isn’t going to do as well? Or I won’t get a movie?

“At some point, I was going to say what I believe anyway,” he said.


  1. mrhowell2002 on January 31, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    #hmm.. Love a man , woman , dog or child … It’s all love if someone is born loving dogs why can’t they have sex and get married or children why can’t 12 year olds have sec with older guys ?? They can choose to change their sex at 12 but can’t choose they’re mates?? #anythinggoes this confusion is just what the bible talked about … We are all sinners !!! We need to do things Gods way … Repent , trust in Christ

    • shellyTheGreat on January 31, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      someone told me “love has no boundaries.” I said “well what about those who practice incest, bestiality, and pedos?” they said “well, i’m not talking about crazy people.” SMH.

      • mrhowell2002 on January 31, 2016 at 3:23 pm

        Soo true

      • TheBurningBush on January 31, 2016 at 6:30 pm

        so true, logic, wisdom and common sense! and they always put love in it. Love is the world greatest delusion, it’s a powerful drug.

    • guest on February 1, 2016 at 8:48 am

      That will be the next step. Wait and see.

  2. TheBurningBush on January 31, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    not my business, why do he mention it?

    • shellyTheGreat on February 1, 2016 at 12:01 am

      folks been asking him about it since last year. but did you see what was said in the last 3 paragraphs….Empire executives were fine with him talking about being gay, but they specifically told him NOT to involve himself with black issues or talk about it! can you believe that?! Like, i can believe it, but still.

      • TheBurningBush on February 1, 2016 at 8:08 am

        yep, I can believe it, I do believe it, and I am not surprise by it, one thing we should have learned over the last few years is that celebrities should not be followed, emulated in no way form or fashion, and we should rarely put weight on their advice or words, because they are no more than mental light weight who happens to have a job entertaining, and we should all stress those point with our young people and our offsprings over and over again while they are young.

  3. Exoctic 1 on February 1, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I think its a sad day, when a man admits to sleeping with both men and women at the same damn time. This could explain how the HIV/AIDS rate increases and with society thinking its ok. #strapituptoprotecturself….. Not judging JS Nastyasses

  4. [email protected] on February 1, 2016 at 5:52 pm


  5. Desiree M. Mondesir on February 2, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Jussie seems like a very sweet guy (no pun intended), yet he’s obviously VERY confused. This is a spiritual problem and it must be tackled first and foremost from that perspective.

    • shellyTheGreat on February 2, 2016 at 8:34 am

      it’s not possible that he feels he has the ability to love (romantically) both men and women, but he’s attracted more to men?

      • Desiree M. Mondesir on February 3, 2016 at 4:39 am

        It’s absolutely possible and more than that, it’s evident. But just because a person feels a thing, doesn’t mean it’s right. People feel the need to drink and drive, to commit crimes, to physically and sexually abuse animals, but that doesn’t make it right. People feel the need to be cutters, anorexic, and overeat, but that doesn’t make it healthy. That’s why I indicated that this was a spiritual problem, as in a spiritual confusion, a spirit of perversion, as opposed to a natural problem. This is not something that can be addressed in the natural until after you’ve dealt with it FIRST in the spirit.

        • shellyTheGreat on February 3, 2016 at 8:30 am

          i agree with you, i was just asking about the part where you said he was confused. i feel like he’s sure about how he feels, and i think he also understands that feelings are fickle. i just wanted to understand why you think he’s confused. but yeah, i totally agree that just because you have a feeling doesn’t mean it’s right, and doesn’t mean you have to act on it.

        • shellyTheGreat on February 3, 2016 at 8:31 am

          ok, i see that you said it’s a “spiritual confusion.”

          • Cee jay on February 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm

            The thing that annoys me the is how we are so enamored and feel we need to know who’s sleeping with whom and label their sexuality. Who gives a s***? Move on people. Then we go as far to become psychoanalysis and dissect the reason for their behavior. Also just because a person is a TV personality or public figure,doesn’t give us the rights to their personal lives and matters. There lives doesn’t matter to me personally.

          • shellyTheGreat on February 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm

            well he’s the one who decided to discuss it. as far as analyzing why people do what they do, i don’t see a problem with that at all….that’s how society gets names for things, and cures and stuff like that..from closely analyzing stuff. why not want to understand why people do things? if you’re not interesting in that type of thing, that’s understandable. but i personally find sexuality fascinating, especially in a time when there seems to be a shift happening in terms of what’s acceptable to society.

  6. Cummbottom on February 3, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    OUTING for what? Dinner or something is there conflict of interest pressure “traditional” values seem insecure why façade only straight can date? Never to late to escape doubt, reality being free man hey, “LGBTQ” society awaken in “USA” sadly. Hollywood which majority of “personnel” homosexual rather play it straight due sponsorship Jussie ask Lee Daniels example…correct GayNess” irate Lee (exchange letters of pursuit) okay. Lee whom part of growing, annoyance “Malcolm Jamal “LGBTQ” (hierarchy able to not) purchase “Bottoms or Tops” realty while. Majority face gentrification Jussie you decide your fate!