September 26, 2021

Why Raven-Symoné refused to make Raven Baxter a lesbian in Disney spin-off

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 17: Raven Symone attends 28th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards at Millennium Biltmore Hotel on June 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)

Why Raven-Symoné refused to make Raven Baxter a lesbian in Disney spin-off

Alexander Kacala Wed, September 8, 2021, 7:49 PM EDT

While Raven-Symoné is an out and proud member of the LGBTQ community, she says she declined to make her iconic character Raven Baxter a lesbian in “Raven’s Home,” a sequel series to “That’s So Raven” that she currently stars in.

Symoné, who began coming out in 2013, opened up about the topic on the Pride podcast with Levi Chambers this week.

“You know what, there was a conversation before the series started and I was asked the question, ‘Would you like Raven Baxter to be a lesbian?’ And I said, no. I said no,” Symoné revealed.

“The reason I said, no, wasn’t because I wasn’t proud of who I was, or I didn’t want to represent the LGBTQ+ community in any way. It was because Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter. There was no reason for me to change the human that she was in order to fit the actress that played her. And Raven Baxter is a character that I was proud to play. Even if she is straight, cisgender, I don’t mind, let her have her moment.”

Tribeca Celebrates Pride Day - 2019 Tribeca Film Festival (Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
Tribeca Celebrates Pride Day – 2019 Tribeca Film Festival (Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

The one thing that was important for Symoné was that her character was divorced and wasn’t dating anyone in the series. She said, “I had no worries about saying no boyfriends.”

Symoné continued to explain why she responded to the question from studio executives the way she did.

“I felt like the quiet undertones of living with Chelsea was enough, you know?” she added. “Not that that was a true statement, that was never the intention of living with my best friend, but, you know, people say stuff that is just hilarious. But I didn’t want to change who she was.

“When you really start blending your personal self with your character self, it’s even harder. Like, I’m stereotyped for the rest of my life. Let’s just keep it 100. You know what I mean? If you ever see me in another character, you see Raven Baxter, and that’s just what the deal is. I think the one thing that differentiates me from her is now a lot more.”

Last year, Symoné tied the knot with Miranda Maday during an intimate, outdoor backyard ceremony.

“I got married to a woman who understands me from trigger to joy, from breakfast to midnight snack, from stage to home,” the actor, whose full name is Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman, wrote in the caption. “I love you Mrs. Pearman-Maday!”

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