The question that won't go away

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Only Tom Cruise -- who jumped up and down on Oprah's couch in an effort to prove his hetero love -- is dogged as much by the same persistent question. It somehow sticks to Oprah, too, the lingering query: Is she gay?

Opah's best pal Gayle King -- and the one most often suggested as her more-than-friend -- once again tried to put the rumors to rest by saying, hey, if we were a couple, we'd tell you!

The rumor was stoked once again, this time by Rosie O'Donnell, who made these comments on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show late last month:

Rosie: "I don't know. I think [Oprah's] never been married and she's exceptionally close to Gayle. I don't know that she and Gayle are necessarily doing each other but I think they are the emotional equivalent of..."

Howard: "A gay couple."

Rosie: "When they did that road trip, that's as gay as it gets. And I don't mean it to be an insult either. I'm just saying, listen, if you ask me, that's the couple."

O'Donnell recently broke up with her partner of several years.

Monday night at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York City, King answered the implication by denying the couplehood to "Access Hollywood."

"The thing [is], if we were gay, we would tell you," King said. "We would so tell you. We wouldn't try to keep that a secret because there's nothing wrong with being gay. So if we were, we would tell you. The truth of the matter is we're not. It's hard enough for me to get a date on a Saturday night as it is. This isn't a rumor I'm trying to continue to explore, but no there's nothing, there's nothing wrong with it."

King has said this before, back in 2006 declaring the same sentiment: "The truth is, if we were gay, we would tell you, because there's nothing wrong with being gay." Oprah herself at the time said, "I understand why people think we're gay. There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it - how can you be this close without it being sexual?"

King this week added that she actually isn't bothered by the speculation. "I love that question," she said. "That never bothers me because it's so silly."

Sources inside Oprah's camp, however, are plenty bothered by it. One source tells Sun-Times celebrity columnist Bill Zwecker that they are none too pleased with O'Donnell's comments. Oprah herself allegedly has "warned" Rosie to knock it off.

Oprah has been in a relationship with Stedman Graham for years, though there was speculation in August that the two were having difficulties and might split. But they must be fine because here he is discussing their life and love in a new interview.

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17 Comments

oh brother rosie, don't you have anything else to do with your time. why don't you go adopt another baby or something. OPRAH IS NOT GAY. that is so stupid. her and gayle are best friends. you are just picking on oprah because you were dumped again.

Just because Oprah's never been married does not mean she's a lesbian. On the contrary, she's been in a stable relationship with the same man for a quarter century & have you any idea how many men Oprah's been with BEFORE Steadman? There was the guy in Chicago she lived with for 5 months & who accused her of doing crack with him. There was the married guy in Baltimore she tried to kill herself over. There was Lloyd Kramer, the only white guy she ever dated. There was Bubba Taylor, the guy she dated in college & when he tried to break up with her she flushed his car keys down the toilet so that he couldn't leave her. There was Anthony Oatie her high school sweet heart. There were all the men she had sex with during her promiscuous years when she had a baby at 14. So there are volumes & volumes of examples of Oprah being straight but no evidence at all that she's gay. Being unmarried proves nothing. Most successful black women do not get married & no one's more successful than Oprah. It's possible she's a lesbian. Anything's possible, but the odds are against it & the lesbian rumor only started because Oprah played the therapist on Ellen's coming out show. Prior to the late 1990s there was never a single rumor Oprah was gay despite the fact that she was in the tabloids every week since the 1980s. If Oprah were really a lesbian the rumors would span back to her days in Baltimore & the tabloids with all the billions they've spent investigating her would have evidence. Just because Ellen & Rosie are lesbians does not mean all Emmy winning talk show women are lesbians. Remember only 10% of the population is gay. Posted at 4:10PM on Nov 7th 2009 by Kaner

shes'gay. she broke up gayles family no women is whole unless she bears the fruit of GOD, CHILDREN that is the price they have to pay for luring ADAM TO THE TreE of life and when you break up a family like she has done that was made a covenant by the ALMIGHTY both she and her lover friend have a price to pay i am guilty of the same sins but i ain't gay gay isn't natural GOD made man and woman to bear fruit and multiply if a women can bear children and she dosen't its shows her selfishness she willn't sacrifice herself

This kind of relationship between two women is known as a "Boston Marriage." Usually not sexual, it existed in the 19th and 20th centuries among independent professional women who did not want to subordinate themselves to men in traditional marriage. The women usually shared a household for financial and emotional support. It is rather anachonistic in the post-women's liberation 21st century.

This is just another case of the news media concentrating on the wrong stories. Forget war, death, poverty, and the million other problems in the world. Is Oprah gay or not? That's what is important. The dumbing down of American continues.

seeing oprah naked would be enough to send any gay girl straight

Women (and men) can be emotionally connected. They can be like close sisters and just enjoy each other's company. I wish I had a "sister" as close as Gale is to Oprah and vice versa; because my sister and I don't speak. I think whatever they have emotionally is great. And they don't have to be "doing" each other. Rosie is a clown.

Society is so addicted to labels, you're either one thing or another...and people speculate with such conviction, as if they know their opinion is fact.

There seems to be in our nature a need to pair-up with someone special, which most think to be defined as someone with whom you are sexually intimate, so folks jump to the conclusion that if you're with a person in a close relationship, it must mean you're sharing this type of intimacy. In my opinion, intimacy is not restricted to a sexual nature, so it's very plausible for Oprah to have a warm and deep friendship with her longtime friend Gayle, and other women, without ever having a sexual thought about them.

I think most people project their own values and/or desires when they offer an opinion, so it's easy to see why Rosie could think that Oprah is gay. Love transcends labels, and friends are just as valuable as lovers...and I think both Oprah and Gayle are fortunate to have maintained their friendship over the years...they also demonstrate a wonderful maturity for being able to withstand a sometimes harsh public scrutiny of their friendship.

As a straight woman, I think Rosie's comment is idiotic. 2 women on a road trip is as gay as it gets? Is there some law that straight women can't go on road trips? I have been on many road trips with my straight female friends!

I have no idea what's up with Oprah but the road trip is not a red flag of any kind.

Bill, why do you assume that so many heterosexuals hate gays. You can have a firm understanding that sex between two men or women is morally wrong while at the same time still love the person or care for there well being. The common misunderstanding is that if you disagree with the sexual act, than you must hate EVERYTHING about that person. Sex, unlike what the media and hollwood try and convince us of is sacred and is designed to be between a man and a woman alone, within the covenant of marriage. A lot of people have their faces barried in the celebrity magazines and gossip television channels instead of focusing on pleasing God and the scripture and attempting daily to follow HIS will, and not that of our own!

Perhaps Oprah can come out once she gets to California with all of her loonie friends.

The big O is hanging around with Rosie and Ellen... not to many red flags! As for Steadman, he may have a fella.... is it WRONG??


Whether Oprah and Gayle are gay or not is not our business and gay or straight: who cares? Why do we always have to separate people to make ourselves feel comfortable? Oprah has promoted Chicago around the world. I thank her for that! She has been terrific for this great city!

Bill, I think the obsession is that many "straight" people do not understand homosexuality, so it seems to be curiosity expressed as anger or obsession.

As for Oprah and Gayle, they are best friends and have been for years. This is what sisters and very close friends do. I don't think she's married because marriage may complicate what she is trying to accomplish, or perhaps she appreciates her space and freedom to do as she pleases.

Bill,

It was Rosie O'Donnell who ignited this latest round of "Is-Oprah?" or "Isn't-Oprah?". Is it o.k. for lesbians to be concerned about Oprah's sexual preferences?

Just like Steadman...he's not gay either....uhhh..wait a minute.


Bill - I think most heteros think gays are creepy.

Why are heterosexuals SO obsessed with gay people?

This is a sincere question.

What is the obsession?

I mean, for a group of people who hate gay people so much, y'all seem pretty much obsessed with gay people.

What gives?

If Oprah WERE gay, would that change who you know her to be or change any of the good works for humanity that she has done? No. It doesn't. She's still the same old Oprah we've known and loved (or hated) for 30 years.

So what's with the obsession? It's becoming a little creepy. Even to us gays.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on November 11, 2009 11:46 AM.

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