Some people thought that Eminem was coming out as gay or bisexual when he said that he’s been using Grindr to look for companionship. A rep for the rapper later revealed that his comments about using the gay dating app weren’t meant to be taken seriously, but Eminem wants his fans to know that he doesn’t view the gay community as a joke; he actually claims that he’s an LGBTQ ally.
Even though Eminem has said that he doesn’t “swing that way,” he recently had some of his fans believing that he came out as gay in the most low-key way. As reported by USA Today, the internet totally freaked out over comments that the “Walk on Water” rapper made about his love life during an interview with Vulture. He revealed that he hasn’t gone on many dates since he and his ex-wife, Kimberly Anne Scott, called it quits for the second time in 2006. Since so many lonely people turn to dating apps to find love these days, he was asked if he has used Tinder.
“Yeah, Tinder,” he said. “And Grindr. I also used to go to strip clubs.”
Because Grindr is mostly used by gay and bi men, this exchange sparked a serious internet discussion about Eminem’s sexual orientation. One netizen accused the rapper of suggesting that he’s gay because he’s trying to “boost a failed career.” As Highsnobiety reports, his latest album, Revival, has received quite a few negative reviews. Some have even called it the worst he’s ever made.
Other Twitter users dubbed Eminem a “self-hating gay,” and some argued he has already “admitted to being gay.” Those in the latter camp pointed to his cameo in The Interview as evidence to support their claim, even though it’s a fictional movie. As reported by Cinemablend, Eminem plays himself in the comedy. He matter-of-factly says that he’s gay — four times, to be exact — during a sit-down interview with an entertainment talk show host played by James Franco.
Jezebel reached out to Eminem’s rep for clarification on his comment about being on Grindr, and the outlet was told that the rapper was “joking about using both Tinder and Grindr.”
Eminem actually talked about being straight during the same interview that sparked speculation that he’s gay or bi. He confirmed that he’s heterosexual when he was asked to address the accusations that he’s homophobic that have plagued him for years. As reported by Salon, one example of Eminem’s violently homophopic lyrics can be found in “Rap God.” In the 2013 song, he raps about wanting to break a “table over the back of a couple f****ts and crack it in half.” However, Eminem maintains that he doesn’t view the f-word as a gay slur; to him, it’s interchangeable with generic insults like “punk” or “a**hole.”
“The first time I got a taste of being called anti-gay was on ‘My Name Is’ when I said, ‘My English teacher wanted to have sex in junior high / The only problem was my English teacher was a guy.’ All I was saying was I don’t swing that way,” Eminem told Vulture.
He went on to say that his homophobic lyrics were meant to “push the buttons of people who were calling me something that I wasn’t,” and he stated that it’s not the LGBTQ community he has a problem with; it’s the bullies who target their victims based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Eminem also revealed that he considers President Donald Trump one of the bullies who are threatening the LGTBQ community.
“The honest-to-God truth is that none of that matters to me: I have no issue with someone’s sexuality, religion, race, none of that,”Eminem said. “Anyone who’s followed my music knows I’m against bullies — that’s why I hate that f**king bully Trump — and I hate the idea that a kid who’s gay might get s**t for it.”