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Can Andy Cohen Stop Asking About Dead Black Celebrities’ Sexualities?

For some celebrities, coming out and being honest about their alleged queer sexualities was simply not an option. And after years of fighting or not fighting, we don’t know for sure the closet, these celebrities and their struggles have been brought up twice in the past month on the aftershow for Bravo’s late night program Watch What Happens! Live.

On Tuesday night, Bravo figurehead Cohen asked legendary singer Patti LaBelle about Luther Vandross and why he never came out of the closet.

“He did not want his mother to be [upset]–although she might have known–he wasn’t going to come out and say this to the world,” LaBelle told Cohen. “And he had a lot of lady fans. He told me that he just didn’t want to upset the world.”

Cohen’s line of questioning comes less than a month after Cohen asked Rosie O’Donnell what she knew about Whitney Houston’s long-rumored relationship with her friend Robyn Crawford. O’Donnell said that she knew about it through friends.

Twitter user @_hoemo, spurred by Cohen’s questions about Vandross, unearthed some of the complexities about talking about black celebrity sexuality in an important Twitter thread.

While Vandross and Houston’s sexualities have been open secrets for years, Cohen comes off a little unprepared to deal with the heaviness of the politics of the closet in the black community. Both times when he asked O’Donnell and LaBelle, he comes off more as looking for gossip or a viral moment than trying to uncover any kind of truth.

Tags: Celebrity
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