Celebrities / Culture

Naya Rivera Comes Out as Bisexual and Crazy

Naya RiveraYesterday, Naya Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on Glee, co-hosted The View and sorta kinda seemed to come out as bisexual. Rosie O’Donnell brought up a recent study that showed bisexual women are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than lesbians and Naya laughed and replied, “No wonder I’m crazy! This solves it all!” Rosie responded with her own self-deprecating answer, “I am really the bastion of mental health, as you can tell,” and everyone had a good laugh.

This is where I must confess that I was a big fan of Glee in its first two seasons. I loved the music and the quirky characters, and I was thrilled when Santana and Brittany, two of the three bitchy cheerleaders on the show, ended up being lovers. As a result, I know a lot about the actors, the characters and the show–more than I like to admit.

Naya was instrumental in getting Glee to take seriously the relationship between Santana and Brittany, played by Heather Morris. The fact that the two characters were best friends with benefits was meant to be a joke, but Naya pushed for a full storyline that eventually led her character to come out as a lesbian. In the last episode, Santana and Brittany make an appearance and get married!

You could argue that pushing the storyline was self-serving in that she went from a minor character to a main character with the associated screen time, but I am just not that cynical yet. So, I have respect for Naya and her efforts to make queer girls visible on television which means that I read articles whenever her name pops up.

There have been a few girl on girl rumors about Naya for years, so yesterday’s revelation is not necessarily shocking. She married Ryan Dorsey in July of last year which means that, in some ways, it’s fairly safe for her to come out as bisexual now given that she is in a committed relationship with a man. It’s also not surprising that she would mention this after she finished filming Glee given that network executives wanted Chris Colfer, the gayest of gays, to remain closeted during the show’s first season.

Although there is time for her to explain away the comments she made yesterday, I am going to assume that she is bisexual, though is not the kind of coming out I would have liked for her. But we can’t choose who plays for our team or how they wear the uniform. There are plenty of people I’d like to kick off the Isle of Lesbos, but it just doesn’t work that way.

So, the bigger question is whether this sort of admission and her joke about being “crazy” help or hurt bisexual visibility?

The stereotypes of bisexual people as crazy, indecisive, and promiscuous are harmful and Naya’s statement could certainly be interpreted as playing into those very notions. Not to mention, she made light of research findings about bisexual women and mental health.

But, we have a young, attractive, multi-racial actress saying that she is bisexual. There are likely many queer girls and young women who look up to her who might feel just a bit better about themselves. Is the good of that negated by the way in which she revealed it and the less than ideal remarks that accompanied the admission?

What do you think?

FEATURE PHOTO CREDIT: FYEAHGLEECLUB

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4 Comments

  1. She says a lot of crazy shit. And, sadly, I think her coming out as bisexual is being overshadowed by her belief that showering daily is for white people.

    And, I hate that study on bisexuals and mental health was overshadowed. And, I hate that it is somehow safer to come out as bisexual while in a heterosexual marriage. And I hate that it wasn’t a strong declaration preferably made in song and dance and high boots.

    Confession: I love Glee.

    Still… I love that a bisexual multi-racial woman came out. That is still powerful. And still important. (but so is showering every so often, but as a white woman, I admit, it would be a pain to try and do daily).

    • Vikki Reich says:

      I love that you finally said it and I think she was trying to do it in a casual and funny way. AND I will defend her and say that her shower comments were taken out of context and blown out of proportion. ha ha

  2. I loved it. I loved that she came out. Maybe she did it now because she’s “safely” in a hetero relationship, but maybe not. Maybe she did it because Glee is closing up shop, but maybe not. For whatever reason, she did it. And it didn’t bother me one little bit that she did it while making a joke ~ a joke at her own expense. The truth is, she didn’t have to say it at all. But she did. She spoke her truth. And who knows who she helped while doing it. Good for her.

  3. Deborah Goldstein says:

    I do agree with Clare that we need to pay more attention to mental health issues, but I am glad that Naya found a way to come out. I’m guessing that if the gals on The View actually tried to address mental health issues, we all would have been even more disappointed.

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