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Whoopi Goldberg: ‘I’ve always been claimed by the gay community’

Whoopi Goldberg attends Alex Martin's 40 And Fly Birthday Celebration at The Bowery Hotel on May 9, 2014 in New York City.
Whoopi Goldberg attends Alex Martin's 40 And Fly Birthday Celebration at The Bowery Hotel on May 9, 2014 in New York City.Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

There is something about Whoopi Goldberg that has always been inspiring. From her ability to make people laugh to her commitment in standing up for what she believes in, “The View” co-host has always stayed true to being herself. In an interview with Chris Azzopardi of pridesource.com published on Monday, the comedienne talked about rumors surrounding her sexuality, her earliest comedy heroes, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, and her commitment to gay rights.

As rumors surrounding her sexuality has continued to resurface, Goldberg refuse to pay it any mind. The associations started in the 70s when she had the ability to draw laughs from lesbians at San Francisco comedy clubs and they continued when she became an ally for gay rights. Instantly there were people who assumed she was just a person who was afraid to come out of the closet. Goldberg found those assumptions “ridiculous.”

“I was like, ‘Uh, no.’ People just didn’t understand.” She said in the interview. “You see bad situations or stupid situations, like folks having an issue with who you cared about, who you wanna be with, all that kind of stuff that has nothing to do with the realities of our world.”

The reality of Goldberg’s world was that it was nobody’s business as she found anyone having a problem with someone’s difference completely “stupid.” The fact that she grew up around gay people is a reason she could never understand why “people freak out about it” and why so much paranoia exists about how people view them. That’s why the “Ghost” actress has instilled a “who cares” attitude. She doesn’t care what someone is going to think about her because of who or what she is associated with.

That is also something she picked up from standup comedienne Jackie “Moms” Mabley. A 20th-century trailblazer, Mabley was a civil rights activist, the first female comedian and a lesbian during a time when homosexuality just wasn’t discussed. Mabley was able to make a name for herself because being funny was all that mattered to people back then. When asked Mabley’s sexuality would’ve been a career breaker in the 20s and 30s, Goldberg said, “Nobody was thinking about it. If you weren’t funny, you didn’t work. Your sexuality, who you were – whether you were a man or a woman – didn’t matter. Funny trumps everything.”

As far as her own career, the 58-year-old actress, comedienne, and talk show host paid homage to the gay community for claiming her. As being funny was a connection, standing up for gay rights and being an ally was more about an understanding that people are people no matter whom they love or who they are. One thing Mabley didn’t have was a community openly standing behind her. Goldberg is able to have that even when appeared people didn’t want her.

She says, “You know, no one was trying to claim me, nobody wanted me. Black folks didn’t want me. Nobody wanted me. But I’ve always been claimed by the gay community. Always. People keep trying to divide us into ‘you’re gay, you’re black, you’re white,’ but we’re all one people.” And that has always been a message Whoopi Goldberg has relayed. Read the full PrideSource interview here.