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Raven-Symoné Reveals Why She Kept Her Sexuality a Secret

A lot of us remember how adorable Raven-Symoné was on The Cosby Show and how funny she was on That’s So Raven. Despite her talent, Raven recently revealed in an interview that the spotlight was limiting, and it kept her from coming out for a long time. She describes her journey to coming out in the online docuseries It Got Better, which documents the testimonies of LGBT celebrities. 

She explained, “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] it’s not very healthy later in life. My likeness…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.”

Her fame at a young age kept her from revealing her sexuality. She was unsure of how it would affect the brand that had been created for her. Though she knew she liked girls at the age of 12, she still dated boys in order to keep up her brand.

“I didn’t want to tell my parents. I had the number one show on Disney. I had multiple albums, I’d been on tour with *NSYNC…I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn’t matter.”

Things changed after she took a break from the industry to go to college. “I felt like I could go out and not have to put on 17 different hats to be myself.”

We are so glad that Raven found a way to share her true self with the world. 

Olivia Shaw is a senior at UNC Greensboro. She is an English major and plans to write a book someday soon. She is fluent in TV references to "The Office" and "Spongebob" and wishes she lived in Stars Hollow. Her ideal day consists of eating undercooked brownies and playing her ukulele.
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