Courtesy of Zahra Siddiqui
Interviewed by Florence Edwards
Monifah set the music world on fire in the 90s, and her music continues to have a tremendous impact on R&B music fans around the world. There’s no question that no one brings it quite like Monifah. Her seductive, soulful voice can help you overcome a tragic break-up, inspire you to push forward, or make you have explosive mind-gasms that will take you on an unforgettable erotic journey of raw passion and sexual bliss.
A spiritually conscious artist who is not afraid to be herself in a world that wants to define her, Monifah is defying stereotypes about same-gender-loving people, and is teaching the world that love is love. She is redefining what a real black woman is, and is a true example of how we can own our power, transform our lives, and live fearlessly.
Besides starring in TV One’s reality TV hit series, R&B Divas: Atlanta, Monifah is an incomparable entertainer, actress, writer, advocate and entrepreneur who knows who she is, what she wants, and how to get it. Her unshakable faith, profound wisdom and courageous spirit is why she is a true diva and an inspiration to women and girls everywhere. Monifah’s ground-breaking wedding to Terez recently earned her a 2015 GLADD Media Award nomination. She was also honored with the 2015 Vanguard Award from The OutMusic Awards—The LGBTQ Academy of Recording Artist (LARA), and she’s just getting started! Monifah’s ready for her next close-up and is calling her own shots in the entertainment industry.
We recently caught up with Monifah and asked her all of the juicy questions you’ve been dying to know. In this candid article, we discuss everything from her definition of hot sex to her impact as a same-gender-loving woman in Hollywood.
Florence: After marrying your long-time girlfriend, Terez, You were the first African-American same-sex couple to wed on national TV. In an interview, you stated that you did it for a bigger reason. Do you think it made a long-term impact on how the world perceives black lesbians, love and marriage? If so, how?
Monifah: 1A) Firstly, I’d like to clarify how I sexually identify. I identify as a bisexual or same-gender loving woman in the LGBTQ community. People assume that I identify as lesbian because I’ve dated, been in long-term relationships with women, and am now married to a woman. It’s easy for us to paint situations and people with a broad brush and put each other into nicely wrapped boxes of perceptions, stereotypes and judgments that keep us ‘comfortable’ and stagnate in not getting an understanding of the beauty of our differences. Sexuality, although a birthright and important to be expressed and respected equally, is not all of who any person is and how an individual identifies can only be expressed by that individual.
I believe whole heartedly that Terez and I making the decision to share our nuptials with the world was necessary and very impactful long-term.
We’ve received many messages from the black LGBT and heterosexual communities alike, that they can see themselves in our relationship and our proud of our representation of ourselves or that being privy to our relationship changed their opinion, views and perception of same-gender love because all they saw was the love, respect, reverence and partnership between us and it normalized it for them.
Florence: You mentioned that your sexuality wasn’t really a focus for you when you were younger because you had gay family members. When did you first realize that you were bisexual? How were you able to escape the stigma of being a same-gender-loving woman in the African American community and love yourself without taking on the world’s judgment of your sexuality?
Monifah: I experienced my first attraction to a girl at age 18. I didn’t judge it or myself. I just felt it. I have same-gender loving family members and the messages I received weren’t negative, so it didn’t feel like this big bad monster I needed to try and escape. I was just myself. When I met my first girlfriend at 23, I just simply had a girlfriend. LOL. I’ve been blessed with the spirit God chose for me to have and this spirit never felt embarrassed or shameful nor did it care what anyone else thought about what gender the spirits I connected to were encased in. I knew the gender of the person I chose to be with didn’t completely define me and if someone felt ‘a way’ or thought it did, that was their issue, not mine. Maybe growing up and living in New York City which is a melting pot of diversity, afforded me this luxury but I did experience my share of discrimination.
This article was originally published in the Examiner.com. Click here to read the rest of the interview.
Florence Edwards is a seasoned writer, publicist, author and speaker who loves helping women have passionate sex lives and relationships! She loves writing edgy, sensual and creative material that gets people hot and bothered lol! Contact her with all of your LGBT questions, at Florence.Edwards1976@gmail.com.