‘I Felt Very Vulnerable’: Raven-Symoné Reflects on the ‘Challenges’ She Faced After Coming Out

It has been nearly ten years since Raven-Symoné came out as gay, living her truth out loud and unapologetically. But the award-winning actress admitted that the truth revealed a lot of challenges.

Last weekend, the Disney Channel star reflected on her coming out journey during her acceptance speech for an Icon award at the 9th Annual Better Brothers Los Angeles Truth Awards. The ceremony, which honors and recognizes members of the Black LGBTQ+ community, was held on March 4.

Raven-Symoné, who tied the knot with Miranda Maday in 2020, humbly accepted her award, explaining to E! News that “there were a lot of challenges” on the path to fully embracing her identity.

“There was the crumbling of the wall that I had put up for so many years. And I felt very vulnerable, it was an interesting wound that was opened up in public,” she said.

L/Studio, created by Lexus, featured the The Cosby Show actress in an “It Gets Better” video released in 2016.  She explained that she was aware of her sexuality at age 12, but there was too much riding on the Raven-Symone brand, until she fell in love.

“I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn’t matter,” she said in the video, adding that she didn’t see where other people coming out publicly was a positive experience for them. She referenced Ellen DeGeneres when she publicly came out in 1997.

Last year, Raven-Symoné and Maday started a YouTube channel, dubbed 8PM. They entertain with daily vlogs, recipes, art, beauty, and “some good ol’ tea spillage.” It’s been a while since the pair uploaded a new video, but Raven-Symoné is still intentional about amplifying representation in her work as a creator.

“I want to make sure I’m creating content that reflects the community that we’re a part of,” the 37-year-old noted. “Respectfully and with dignity.”

Although she turned down the Disney channel’s attempt to make her Raven’s Home character a member of the LGBTQ community, as BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, she is a proud nonbinary who doesn’t have to play one onscreen.

An icon in her own right, Raven-Symoné shared some words of advice: “Y’all better keep going because y’all are changing all kinds of conversations that I didn’t even know was possible!” she said. “But also respect your elders at the same time.”