Mary J. Blige Offers Up Her Gay 411 to The Advocate

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mary J. Blige, but after reading her cover interview in the forthcoming issue of The Advocate, my respect for her has grown by leaps and bounds.

Maryjbligeadvocate“The majority of my fans are gay,” she tells writer Ernest Hardy. “The majority of them are, and I have to really make sure that they know I’m paying attention to the fact that they support me, and I support them.”

Blige talks about her youth: When I was growing up, my neighborhood was full of everyone—black, white, Latino, gay, straight. A lot of people that I knew were gay, but they were great people. They were good people. It’s not like they were alien. They were just people. That [acceptance] was just something that was always in me. I’ve never been a judgmental person because I have been through so much hell myself.”

She also talks about the loss of her close friend songwriter Kenny Greene to AIDS, and why she got involved with causes like Minority AIDS Project: “[AIDS] was the elephant in the room that nobody’s looking at. It made me be like, Oh, this is right at our front door. This can touch us. So why wouldn’t I want to get involved with something that can help save all our lives, save everybody’s lives?”

And of homophobia in hip-hop, she adds: “The real hip-hop, the real people don’t even care about that. They’ll love you and accept you no matter what because they know who they are. There are a lot of people trying to figure out who they are and what they’re gonna be. There’s a lot of confusion in that. Confusion causes a lack of identity. I’ve heard a couple of guys say foul things, and those guys are not around me anymore because when they say things like that, I’m looking at them like, What makes you so scared? You don’t know who you are? I guess it all boils down to them not being sure about themselves and what they wanna do, whoever that is. I won’t say any names. And I don’t dislike them or anything—it just makes me wonder about them period. ’Cause if you’re not sure about that, then you ain’t sure about a lotta things!”

It’s a lengthy interview, with plenty of info on her new album Growing Pains. It hits newsstands on November 20.

The Advocate [website]


  1. David says

    Great interview. If only we could see more interviews like this in mainstream, and African American publications, there would be a lot more understanding and peace in the world. It is great to know that Mary J. is a supporter to the gay community, but through the Advocate she is ONLY letting the gay community know of her good feelings. All said–hail, hail Mary J.

  2. says

    One of the best concerts I’ve ever seen was Mary at the Apollo. I would bet she sang 30 songs with the most amazing amount of energy and emotion. If you ever get a chance to see her I highly recommend it. She has a live album (and there is a video of the same concert) that I never get enough of. And I’m not even particularly a fan of RnB.

  3. Marco says

    You gotta love Mary. She has a voice that breaks your heart with a note. As mentioned, i’d wish more artist in the hip-hop world would “come out” as it were and help end some of the raging homophobia.

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, I’m glad to hear those thoughtful and intelligent words from Ms Blige. But of course, no one under the age of sixty can sing, ‘cept maybe that little gal from Manhattan…uh, what’s her name? Ms Keys, I believe.

    These young folks couldn’t do anything without microphones and studio recording devices.

  5. says

    I’d marry Mary in a heartbeat!! She’s amazing! And she’s right, a lot of the homophobia parading around in hip-hop stems from a deep lack of stability and self identity under the guise of “street cred”. Oh please! Gotta love her!!

  6. says

    Mary J is from my Yonkers, where I grew up! I lived down the street from her old house so you know I’ve always loved her.

    With the internet and blogs nowadays, I feel although the interview is in a gay publication, word will spread to the hip-hop community about what she said.

    And Crispy, are you kidding me? I’ve slipped “hateration” into renditions of all my favorite songs and plan on doing so for upcoming Christmas carols…

  7. JLS says

    for every lover and every fool
    in the middle of the floor
    slow dancin’ the cross
    at their own crossroads

    mary j. blige, in a pool of light
    her face, her spirit
    washed in sweat
    right hand of god
    baby, baby this I know
    there’s a story goin down
    all night long
    ain’t no wrong
    can’t be coaxed into song

    she gained a little weight
    sings in and out of key
    your voice shakes too
    when the truth comes due.

    — Sekou Sundiata’s (1948-2007) “Mary J Blues”

  8. says

    I love Mary J. I got eh chance to hear her at a listening party with a small group of people and she is so down home and nice. She would sing a song and after she would talk to you as if she had known you all your life. I was really impressed. We need more Mary J’s.

  9. scar2 says

    What impresses me the most about the interview is the fact that she is a very religious woman. I know that a lot of homophobia in the black community is rooted in the churches (although I also know a lot of black churches support homosexuality), so the interview should open up a lot of minds. I know one of the hip-hop folks she’s talking about is Ja Rule, whom she collaborated with in the past. He recently did a homophobic interview & I’m happy to learn she doesn’t associate with him anymore.

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