It’s become blatantly obvious as of late that rapper Cardi B is the woman of the hourbut right now, it’s her out and proud sister that’s wowing us.
Before her big break with “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B rose to fame on Love & Hip Hop alongside her younger sister, Hennessey Carolina. Hennessey is best known for her blowout fight on a LHH reunion episode, where she launched herself at a cast-mate and physicallynot metaphoricallytore out her enemy’s weave. Last week, the pugnacious 22-year old sat down with Paper and talked sexuality, rising to fame, and becoming a queer icon.
Hennessy and Cardi’s mom is Caribbean, and the reality star says her family was not hip to the idea of same-sex love when she was younger. “It was kind of hard because my mom is Caribbean and she didn’t really accept it at first,” she said. “It was really hard because growing up people always made it seem like you have to be with a man.”
The budding actress slammed the religious belief that same-sex love goes against the Bible. “God wouldn’t want people to not love each other. So why do I have to listen to what other people want? Like why would God be afraid that two people of the same gender love each other?Why do I have to be with a man because you feel like that’s what I’m supposed to do? That’s not what my body wants,”she told Paper. “That’s not what my heart wants. That’s not my happiness.”
Hennessy has spoken openly about her queerness, which aided in her family’s understanding of the LGBTQ community. “I taught my family and they actually became accepting because I sat them down,”she said. “I spoke to them, and told them what it is and how life works.”
When she came out to her family, she actually had a girlfriend at the timewho they came around on.
“They actually started accepting us, and accepting my girlfriend,”she said. “Sometimes everyone would be a little weird about it, but then they would just see like, ‘Oh my god, this is love,’ you know? We’ve been believing this is the way things are and it’s notthat’s just rules that been put on us.”
According to Hennessy, this is exactly why visibility is so important for LGBTQ people and cis-het folk; when we witness queerness, it becomes normalized. “I didn’t even know until I saw it,” she said. “That’s my point. Like when I was young, I didn’t know.”
Unfortunately, thanks to the homophobia that litters our society and, in turn, young people’s minds, the reality star tried to bury or ignore same-sex attracting when she first experienced it. “When I used to look at girls and be like, ‘She’s so pretty, but like let me look away. What the hell am I doing?'”she said. “I was trying to hold back my feelings but then when I grew up and realized like no this is what it is, like how am I going to stop myself from liking a girl? That’s not possible. How am I going to stop my feelings? I’m not a devil’s child, why would you think it’s a sin? It’s not a sin.”
Just like her sister, Hennessy is caustic and candid. She joked, “And you know what? People like that they have weird fetishes. They like to suck toes, and look at butts… people have weird fetishes out there, and it’s like no one’s judging you about your weird fetish. And this is not a fetish.” On a more serious note: “Loving someone who’s another gender is not a fetish, but it’s like they have their certain preference to what they like, so why do I have to limit myself? You can like what you like and I don’t judge you on it.”
Hennessy was thrilled to hear she’s becomesomewhat of an LGBTQ icon, telling Paper: “I’m so happy I’m actually spreading awareness because you don’t understand, my family is Caribbeanthey do not like that. They do not play like that. My mom, she did not play with that. And I opened up her heart, I opened up her eyes and she’s now so accepting about it, and even her family is accepting now.”
Cardi’s little sis quite the entrepreneur, having parlayed a career as a reality star into multiple business ventures. Currently, she’s working on an evening wear lineand though she had plans to release it this fall, her sister is putting out a clothing line at the same time. So, she pushed it to next year.
“I’m her sister, so if I got to push my thing back I’ll push it back,”she said. “We’re always looking out for each other. That’s not even a problem for me.”
The designer is also apparently dating a woman right now, and has been for awhile, according to the couple’s social media. Cardi has voiced her approval for her sister in the past, taking to social media to fend off Hennessy’s haters.
Business aside, the TV star just wants to spread awareness and love for the queer community. “Now I feel free and now I just try to spread the message as much as I possibly can,”she said. “Love is love no matter what gender.”
Images via Getty