Latifah, queen of the rumors

For the last few days, the buzz on the gossip blogs has been that Queen Latifah is “engaged” to her trainer Jeanette Jenkins and plans to come out publicly soon.

The sources of this tidbit aren’t exactly reliable; they range from Perez Hilton to a blind item in the New York Post to <insert your favorite dodgy rumor site here>. Here’s how the Post put it on Monday:

“WHICH big Hollywood actress is about to come out of the closet? She’s been living with her girlfriend in a small town, where all the neighbors know, and the two are now engaged to be married.”

Perez and other bloggers have concluded that Latifah is the most likely candidate; she lives in a “small town” in New Jersey — where, incidentally, same-sex civil unions are legal.

The original source seems to be MediaTakeOut.com, which declares its reliability very loudly — you might even say they doth protest too much.

We haven’t reported this “news” because it just seems so, well, unlikely. Isn’t Latifah the one who recently told Glamour that “this gay thing hasn’t messed up my appeal to the gentlemen”? There have been a lot of rumors over the years, but Latifah herself has dismissed them as idle talk.

Of course, she has also taken a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach at times. When Ebony asked her about her rumored relationship with Jeanette, she declined to comment:

“No comment on that at all. I’m done commenting on all that … It’s ridiculous. I know me and that’s all I need to know.”

I doubt she’s suddenly decided that we need to know, too. But of course she makes my gaydar ping. She’s very convincing in Set It Off, for example. And she looks quite comfortable here, in a Mama Morton number from the upcoming CBS special Movies Rock:

Nah, that’s not nearly as gay as this:

And then there’s this photo from yesterday’s 16th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, where Jodie Foster received an award (read our full article here). Latifah looks like she’s thinking, “Uh-oh, I’m gay by association,” and Jodie looks like she’s thinking, “We know, Latifah. We know.”

But never mind all that. Latifah’s comments to Glamour and Ebony are very recent and just don’t seem like the words of someone who’s considering coming out. In fact, if she does come out, she’d better clarify those remarks. Take it all back, Latifah!

Check our Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. column on Friday for more, if anything more materializes. It could turn out to be a whole lot of wishful thinking.

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