Comedian-actress-talk show host Whoopi Goldberg has said she was “glad” to be claimed by the gay community.

In an interview with Michigan gay weekly Pride Source, the 58-year-old Goldberg discussed being labeled a lesbian over her support for gay rights.

“That's what people thought! It was ridiculous. I was like, 'Uh, no.' People just didn't understand,” Goldberg said of assumptions she was gay.

“There are a lot worse things people could have accused me of – things that would really be upsetting! That's not one of them. It never has been. I grew up in the theater. I grew up in a neighborhood where there was always gay folks. Always! So, I never understood people's freak out about it. Everybody is so damn paranoid about everything. They're so concerned that [people] are gonna be like, 'Oh, somebody's gonna think I'm gay.' So what! What happens if they do?”

“You'd be lucky is somebody thought you were gay! That's my response to everybody.”

“I have been gay in films,” Goldberg added, a reference to her performances in The Color Purple and Boys on the Side. “People assume they know because they've seen you in a movie or because they've seen you do something or they've heard you say something, and then they make assumptions. Quite honestly, I was glad to be claimed.”

“We were happy to claim you,” the interviewer responded.

“Yes! You know, no one was trying to claim me. Nobody wanted me. Black folks didn't want me. Nobody wanted me. But I've always been claimed by the gay community. Always,” she added.