Raven Symone has come out as gay, with the 27-year-old actress clearing up long-running rumors about her sexuality in a tweet Friday about the overturned Defense of Marriage Act.
But after announcing she was gay, the former child star was met with a number of homophobic and racist tweets. Though they were drowned out by a majority of positive responses, those critical of Symone sparked heated debates over her decision to come out and her right to privacy.
Though intensely private about her personal life, Symone has been the subject of much speculation about her sexuality in recent years. There have been rumors that she is living with AzMarie Livingston, an openly gay former contestant from America’s Next Top Model.
The National Enquirer ran a report last year saying the two are in love, though very private about their relationship.
Raven Symone cleared up the matter of her sexuality on Friday.
“I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you,” the That’s So Raven star tweeted.
But she didn’t appear to be in a mood to share much more, and has been very guarded about her personal life.
“I’m living my PERSONAL life the way I’m happiest. I’m not one, in my 25-year career to disclose who I’m dating. And I shall not start now,” Simone said in May when rumors emerged about her relationship with Livingston.
“My sexual orientation is mine, and the person I’m dating to know. I’m not one for a public display of my life.”
After coming out, Raven Symone received many messages of support on Twitter, including many people who defended her right to privacy. But some didn’t take the news so well, tweeting homophobic and racist slurs to Symone.
Others expressed quiet disappointment at the news that Raven is gay. One Twitter user said she was happy to see that Raven Symone was trending, but when she found out the reason it “ruined her childhood.”