Oprah Clarifies…And I Have to Ask…Why?



Isn’t the beauty of being a woman being able to freely show affection and care toward other women without worry or thought as to how such gestures will be viewed?

I mean, I met my buddy Quossum online a few months ago and have talked to her almost every day on the phone, sharing insights and thoughts like I’ve known her for years. And I don’t even give a second thought to saying “love you” when I sign off.

And when I’m talking to another woman and she is hurt or upset…I think nothing of reaching out to her and physically rubbing her arm or holding her to ease her pain.

And just the other day I asked my friend, Staci, if she could help me adjust my bra straps…and she did…without even blinking.

That’s just the nature of women. I don’t think anyone questions it. We are an affectionate, open gender.

So why has Oprah Winfrey come out with a statement to explain that she and her best friend of 30 years, Gayle King, are not gay lovers?

“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?”
–Oprah Winfrey, Statement to the Associated Press

Society doesn’t know how to label the close bond between women? Huh?

Listen, Winfrey may be the most powerful woman on the planet but she doesn’t have the all-knowing insight to female bonding. How dare she assume that society…especially the women in our society…can’t wrap their feeble little minds around hers and King’s relationship.

I’m sure…in the history of the friggin’ world…no two women have ever held a bond of love and friendship for decades like Winfrey and King.

Not Ruth and Naomi…not Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan…not me and my mom. Pffffttt….whatever.

So Winfrey and King talk on the phone four times a day…big deal! I call Q or my mom every day as I drive home from work. I e-mail my mom, Quossum, and NOLAgirl throughout each day. I talk to my friends, Peggy and Staci, all throughout the day.

Women just have a need to communicate…and to communicate often…and to communicate thoroughly.

Just who are these people who supposedly thought Winfrey and King were gay?

But more importantly…why do Winfrey and King care?

I learned early on that stuff like that can only hurt you if you allow it to.

When I was in ninth grade, a picture of me from a youth retreat showed up at school and caused me some problems.

The photo was of me wrapping my hand around a friend’s mouth and pretending to kiss her. It was sheer silliness…but it turned ugly when the girl who took the picture brought it to school.

Of course my classmates were relentless with gossip and teasing about me being gay.

I got angry. I cried. I yelled at my friend who had brought the picture to school.

But then my mom gave me this sage advice…”Don’t worry about it, Shelley, and don’t even bother addressing it. The truth always reveals itself. You know you’re not gay and that’s all that matters. It’ll pass.”

And you know what? It did.

Obviously Winfrey and King need to sit down and talk to my mama.

So, again I have to ask…why all the fuss after 30 years?

Seriously, I smell p.r. spin somewhere. I’m sure in time all will be revealed…an unauthorized book is being released…or Oprah is having a show about gender confusion…or Oprah and Steadman (her boyfriend of 20 years) are breaking up…something. Why else would you, after 30 years, all of a sudden come out and say..we’re not gay?

It just seems a little ridiculous to me.


21 Responses to “Oprah Clarifies…And I Have to Ask…Why?”

  1. nolagirl Says:

    I read this yesterday. It was the first I had heard about the “gay rumors,” so I just assumed there might be more to the story that I wasn’t aware of. Maybe not.

    I’m pretty damn sure every woman knows *exactly* what it’s like to have that best friend bond. That’s a no-brainer. Weird.

  2. TALK! Says:

    I know what you mean, NOLA.

    How long has Oprah been a part of our culture? Forever, right?

    And not even once have I heard or thought that she and King were gay.

    When I read this story it made my nose twitch…as something smells fishy.

    They have to be up to something.

    Why else for all the fuss?

    Plus, when has Oprah ever given a rat’s ass about what the public has thought of her (well, other than the James Frey thing…I wish I was blogging then…I had TONS to say on that subject).

    Oprah…for all her millions and all her media…has led a relatively private life.

    I just don’t get why she’s flaking out over this thing with King.

  3. Staci Says:

    Well, Shelley, maybe I should not take this opportunity to mention that my marriage is a farce and I secretly harbor feelings for…

    Oh, have I ever told you about MY high school horror picture? My “friend” took a picture of my undressing, waist up (thank goodness), and all you see is a bra and my shirt over my head. My “loving” older brother, after seeing the picture, sang “Angel is a Centerfold” to me for weeks… I HATED HIGHSCHOOL.

    love you!

  4. TALK! Says:

    Staci…I’m a cheap date if you ever decided to leave Trey. 😉

    Ohh and your high school story is hilarious.

    Aren’t brothers the absolute worst?! HA!

  5. brokedownpalace Says:

    even friendship is politicized now? anyone ever read the scarlet letter? is the gay debate becoming a witch hunt too?

    not patronize, but how can anyone give two sh*ts about oprah’s sexual orientations when the world may be on the brink of an epic war?
    even conservative republicans like newt gingrich say so. whether or not the israel and hezbollah/syria/iran/whoever else is supporting this thing blows over without worldwide involvement is irrelevant because more of our population would rather worry about accusing someone of being gay than what goes in other countries.

    american pop culture is fun but can be quite triflin’. sorry for getting off on such a tangent, my time on the soapbox expired 5 minutes ago….

  6. brokedownpalace Says:

    not *to* patronize


  7. TALK! Says:

    Wow, brokedownpalace…rough morning?

    I think there are folks who care about all of the hellish things going on in the world.

    I know I do.

    But I have to be honest…the trifling trivia of pop culture is what helps me sleep at night.

    If I focus on the world being on the brink of an epic war (which, frankly, it has been on forever and will be on until the end of time as we know it)…or if I focus on the raping man does of the world’s natural resources or of his fellow man…or if I focus on the cruelty and poverty and illness that exist in this country and others…I honestly would not be able to function.

    So…I pray daily…help where I can with money or time…show kindness, compassion and thought in my daily existence…then drift from trivial factoid to trivial factoid to hold on to the what little sanity I have left.

    For that reason alone I’m thankful for Britney Spears.

  8. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Oh Talk. We are so similar. First off, I agree with what you said just above. I do what I can to be of service to those who need me. I pray and trust in God to take care of the rest. That said, I’m so with you on Britney…and K-fed…and Lindsey Lo…and any other crazy celeb.

    Also, I had a rumor spread around when I was in 8th grade that I was gay. It was awful. My friends at school and church quit talking to me and if I sat next to them, they got up and moved. It all stemmed from a slumber party where I revealed that I had never kissed a boy..or even held hands. (They sure would be surprised to know that I didn’t have my 1st kiss til I was 19.) The worst of it was that the girl that started the rumor was my preacher’s daughter.

    Who started the rumor about O & G? I’ve only heard their refute…not the actual rumor.

    My best friend and I are always joking that peeps prolly think we’re gay b/c we spend so much time together. I joke that I’m lucky if they think that b/c she is gorgeous…so I gots me a hot girlfriend!! Haha!

  9. suzi-q Says:

    Is this just Tuesday???? Y’all are into some heavy stuff. It’s like my honey says, “Whatever blows your skirt up:)”I’m like you Shell in my thoughts of the trivia being comforting,maybe we could organize a Trivia Champion of the World where no one kills others in war, just slays another country with knowledge of the trite and becomes trivia world champion until the next year:) I mean really that little guy from North Korea needs to take a trip to Hawaii, visit “Don Hoe” walk up to the top of Diamondhead,earn a t- shirt, instead he sees how close his missles will get to it, he must have failed kindergarten in social conduct, you know, “All life lessons on getting along, I learned in kindergarten” And just so’s you know, my fifteen year old called me the trivia queen:) While we were serving about 400 World Changers (came to help with Katrina problems still existing) some little girl came through and asked where the butter was for biscuits and I pointed to the mound of yellow in a bowl on the table saying I didn’t think it was butter but margarine(in the south MS heat it was still mounded high) explaining the line, “did you know that margarine didn’t come along until after WWII and my mom didn’t like the idea of the artificial yellow stuff and called it “ersatz” which considering her German heritage I believe she explained to me that was a term that meant fake or false, anybody know for sure????? So maybe, instead of considering someone gay we should just call them or their relationship, “ersatz”. Oh well,it is probably not “ersatz” to those involved:) Y’all have a great day in the Lord!

  10. TALK! Says:

    bamaborntxbred said..
    “I joke that I’m lucky if they think that b/c she is gorgeous…so I gots me a hot girlfriend!! Haha!”

    That made me almost spit out my coffee…I laughed so hard.

    What a great attitude.

    I used to be part of a duet. The other half, Chris, was a lesbian guitarist/song writer.

    We performed all over the Gulf Coast at festivals, events and coffee houses.

    We did Chautauqua events and even sang the song “Chromosomaphobia” (not my favorite choice…but I was glad just be performing).

    I never worried about what people thought of me by association with Chris.

    I think it goes back to the fact that you know who you are…you live like you should and you don’t focus on what others say…’cause they are going to talk no matter what.

    It’s easier said than done…but, ultimately, it helps you cope.

    I would have missed out on a lot of chances to sing for others had I not performed with Chris…and that would have been sad.

  11. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Funny how, except for my appearance, I don’t care what people think of me. That’s very sad…but, that is definitely foremost in my mind.

    I bet you had tons of fun “on the road”! You were definitely lucky for those experiences. You and Taylor would have a lot to talk about….:)

  12. PeggyisAmused Says:

    So, Broke… *cough*i know who you are, i have your movies*cough* – you’re ghey?

  13. Holeigh Says:

    I just read about this story on IMDb and I find it ridiculous as well. I realize that a lot of today’s media will jump on an Oprah is Gay story, but anyone with common sense knows that women and their best friends are incredibly close…hell, when I was in high school my best friend Amanda and I were teased about the same thing because we’re together so much. But no one actually took it seriously…perhaps Oprah has forgotten her sense of humor while trying to be so PC as to appease everyone that she has no problems with gays/lesbians? Yo no se…

    All I know is that I can’t get in to MSU this semester because the deadline was the first of the month…and this makes me very sad, Shelley. Very sad indeed. 😦

  14. TALK! Says:

    Holeigh…I’m sorry about MSU for you. I certainly hope things work out for next semester. 😦

  15. Holeigh Says:

    They will, thanks for the well wishes. 🙂 I was just hoping to avoid the whole packing/unpacking my room twice within 4 months, but it’ll all be good!

    And now I have to leave for the lake for a couple days; I’ll be back Friday/Saturday!

  16. Quossum Says:

    Ah, Shelley! You would post this on a day when you knew I wasn’t going to be around! SO sweet! *blushes*

    Yeah, I always thought that the word for that bond between two women was: friend. I mean, sheeze, since when did we become like men and have to be all homophobic and stuff?

    Yesterday at the teacher’s retreat, the lady in charge was confronted by one of the male teachers. “Hey, Carin, there’s only two beds in our room.”

    “Right. And..?”

    With air of desperation: “But there are three of us in that room!”

    “Yeah, most of us have three or four in the rooms.”


    *sigh* “Fine, I’ll call and see if they have a rollaway.”

    Most women would’ve had no problem with this situation. And JUST when I thought women were just “above” that sort of nonsense, along come Oprah and her friend-that’s-JUST-a-friend. How sad!


  17. TALK! Says:

    Q…thanks for that. You hit the nail on the head about what really bothered me with Oprah’s statement.

    So very true.

  18. TALK! Says:

    Oh…for anyone still reading (or caring about this thread)…I found out today that Oprah’s new issue of O Magazine will be about…friendships.

    And the P.R. Spin hits the fan.



  19. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Ahhh…it all comes together now doesn’t it?

  20. TALK! Says:

    Disgusting, isn’t it?

    I want to love Oprah so much it hurts…but crap like this just pisses me off.

  21. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I can’t stand O. I used to like her…back in the early 90’s. She’s changed so much…into someone that would own 5 properties on Hawaii and try to convince everyday people that she’s just regular folk like everyone else. Puhleeze.

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