In a recent interview, rapper Da Brat
said that she remained closeted because of how Ellen DeGeneres was
treated after announcing that she's gay.
Da Brat, real name Shawntae Harris, in
March confirmed her relationship with Jesseca Dupart, the CEO and
founder and Kaleidoscope Hair Products, in a series of social media
posts after ignoring for years rumors about her sexuality.
In an interview for Variety's
special “Power of Pride” series, Da Brat, 46, said that she
compromised on publicly sharing her life with Dupart because her
partner is a “social media mogul.”
“[W]hen you get with somebody, you
have to meet in the middle,” she said. “I was like, 'Oh shit, I
just came out after 20-something years!”
She said that the response to her
coming out was overwhelmingly positive.
“The reaction made me feel like, 'Why
didn't I do this shit years ago?'” she said.
But the response to Ellen DeGeneres'
coming out in 1997 was overwhelmingly negative. The talk show host
has said that Hollywood turned its back on her after she announced
that she's a lesbian. Da Brat said that DeGeneres' experience
influenced her decision to stay in the closet.
“I was always told you want to be
fuckable to men and women to sell records – you don't want anybody
to discriminate,” she
explained. “It was absolutely my decision. I mean, you saw what
happened to people like Ellen: Remember when she lost her TV show and
all these horrible things were happening? People were totally against
When asked what Pride means to her, Da
Brat answered: “To me, Pride is loving myself and not making
excuses for anything: Live in your truth.”
“If I can inspire someone or help
somebody to deal with their issues and their sexuality, then I'm here
for it,” she added.