by Jodee Brown
Internationally acclaimed Jamaican singer, Diana King has taken an unprecedented step within the local music industry as she dropped a bombshell on Thursday, admitting that she is a lesbian.
The highly regarded Reggae singer, known for classics such as Shy Guy, I Say A Little Prayer and L-L-Lies made the confession through a note which she issued on her officialFacebook page. It’s a historic moment within the local music industry as she’s the first artiste of note to come out as a homosexual.
In her note, King wrote, “My name is DIANA EUGENA KING, known to most as DIANA KING my fans call me KingSinga.”
“I AM … WOMAN … MOTHER … AUNT … JAMAICAN … AMERICAN … INTERNATIONAL ARTIST … SINGER … SONGWRITER … BAND LEADER … FRIEND … LOVER …ENTREPRENEUR … GODDESS! among other things AND YES!!!…I AM A LESBIAN … the answer to my most asked INDIRECT question. I welcome the “WHO CARES” right now. LOL.”
“I answer now, not because it’s anyone’s business BUT because IT FEELS RIGHT WITH my SOUL and I believe by not answering or hiding it all these years somehow makes it appear as if I AM ASHAMED OF IT or THAT I BELIEVE IT IS WRONG. I FEEL NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS … or I would have grown my hair. But all kidding aside, I AM a private person, but sometimes, one has to step outside of their comfort zone to GROW. This here, that I’m doing, is my road. Not everyone will OR is required to travel this way. Some people will carry this fact about themselves to the grave and that’s their prerogative but, a “GOOD” reputation can be a GIGANTIC LOAD in a girls backpack. I KNOW now that it’s time I fully practice the meaning of my face tattoo, which is LOVE YOURSELF LIVE YOURSELF. I JUST WANT TO KEEP IT REAL.”
“HONESTLY SPEAKING, I have always been AFRAID to admit it openly, because of the UNKNOWN of what it may cause negatively, to me my career my family and loved ones. But I realized that it is not my job to make others COMFORTABLE, I AM ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY LIFE, the stuff U think about on your deathbed and at this point in my life I DO NOT CARE about the things that FRIGHTEN me anymore. My biggest regret is that I didn’t COME OUT earlier because being silent has held me back from being ALL that I was born to be. The DEEP FEAR that I’ve had, especially that my own JAMAICAN PEOPLE will judge me and not accept me because of their homophobia has been a heavy burden. I fly my country’s flag HIGH. Always with respect and honor everywhere I go, there is no doubt where I AM from, especially in my music. And I am nothing but PROUD of myself and my accomplishments, no one can take that away from me, IT IS already written in the History Books. But I often wonder, if JAMROCK would have STILL been proud of me if they knew the truth from the days of SHY GUY. So even though I’m a woman of the world, living out of my massive duffle bags in different countries, week after week month after month , JAMAICA has been in my head with great LOVE and absolute FEAR. The harsh reality that people like ME are persecuted, beaten, jailed, raped and murdered everyday JUST for being who they are or JUST EVEN BEING SUSPECTED OF IT. It’s what I saw too many times growing up in SPANISH TOWN and living in KINGSTON and it scared me to death. I COULDN’T WAIT TO GET OUT OF THERE. It is hard to imagine the anguish inside if you are not considered an ABOMINATION I and cannot relate personally. BUT GO AHEAD., IMAGINE IT for a minute.”
“And I can only image what it is like, living there and enduring that reality everyday 24/7 365 days of the year. I WILL NOT carry this baggage ANYMORE. In about 10 years I will B older than both my parents before they died. MY PERSONAL NEED to be 100% authentic and TRUE to myself and to make sure my children learn, especially from me, not to EVER be afraid to be WHO THEY ARE is stronger than any insecurities I may have had over the years. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WHO I AM from the moment I could think and had even tried to be THE OPPOSITE because of society’s pressures. Trying to LIVE A LIE is horrible, whether GAY or STRAIGHT and for me, was the saddest part of it all because it only caused immense pain to everyone involved. I have been myself to the fullest ALL EXCEPT for when I came to my sexuality. And it is particularly tormenting U R a FREE SPIRIT. Only people who were very close knew because I told them. I’ve never felt comfortable being around or working with people who were UNCOMFORTABLE with that fact … and I thought for a long while that that would be enough. But it wasn’t and it is not. NOT FOR ME … it feels like living INCOMPLETE. I have MUCH RESPECT and deep ADMIRATION for all those who have COME OUT before me, Dead or Alive. I have stood on the sidelines COVETING your bravery. YOU and LOVE have given me the COURAGE.”
“I could have STAYED SAFE AND HIDDEN but for me, IT WOULD MEAN THAT ALL THOSE WHO HAVE DIED for BEING LIKE ME … ALL DIED IN VAIN. JUST LIKE BLACK PEOPLE WHO DIED FOR ME SO THAT I COULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES AND RIGHTS I NOW HAVE … WOULD HAVE ALL DIED IN VAIN (and if U think some of them weren’t gay and lesbian as well U R sadly mistaken) … BUT IF I DID NOT or DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FREEDOMS THEY GIVE ME AND CARRY THAT TORCH and KNOWLEDGE with DIGNITY and SHOW MY GRATITUDE and RESPECT and DO MY PART BY LIVING A LIFE THAT WOULD MAKE THEM PROUD, it would B like spitting in they faces. NOT TOO LONG AGO, I would NOT have been able to go to school much less college. Maybe I would have been ALLOWED to sing for them but NOT touch them. The mic I used would B thrown out AND I would probably have to open my legs REAL WIDE before I got paid a SMALL FRACTION of what I deserved if any at all. I would have had to use the NIGGA back door and stay in a THE NIGGA HOTEL. I couldn’t fly 1st class, PLEEEEASE try NO-CLASS, a girl like me would have to take a boat and keep out of sight at the very bottom. I COULDN’T B in the presence of white people if I wasn’t the maid. And if they felt HAPPY they might just celebrate by RAPING or LYNCHING ME. All because their interpretation of the BIBLE said, WE WERE LESS THAN HUMAN. I haven’t forgetten the PAST, the INSANITY but it is HISTORY and not meant to be a disrespect to my caucasian family. MY fans come in every shape, age, color, class and creed and I LOVE and APPRECIATED ALL of them. Weve come a far way and have a ways to go, but we HAVE GORWN. I’m not here to compare to fight or defend myself or to debate wrong or right. BUT KNOW THIS!”
“WE ARE everywhere and everyone whether U acknowledge US or not. WE R people U love and cannot live without. WE bring U joy and entertain U. Some of U have even gotten married and made love to our songs, repeated our quotes and have our Art hanging in your homes. WE deliver your babies WE save your lives in hospitals and in wars. WE defend U in the courts and stand up for your rights. WE design the clothes and shoes U just have to have and cannot live without. U hand us your money at the banks. WE fly U to the beautiful and exciting places U love to travel to. WE give U knowledge and inspiration everyday with our words, music and dance. U eat at our restaurants and dance in our nighclubs. WE hold your hands and pray for U on your deathbeds. WE baptize U and marry U. WE R … your NEIGHBORS your FRIENDS and your FAMILY.”
I am not seeking anyone’s approval. The people I love and care about the most, love me no matter what and my true fans love my music and my positive energy on and off-stage. I have never been disrespectful to anyone, and have repeatedly shared my deepest thoughts and feelings with you and have demonstrated my UNWAVERING LOVE and COMPASSION for humanity, time and time again thanks to social media. I have been blessed with eyes that only see a person’s HEART, not the labels placed on them, whether obvious or not. And if there is a GOD .. that trait, my best quality, came straight from the ALMIGHTY. That is WHO I AM to MY CORE and I cannot B anything else. I cannot tell where this will lead but I KNOW, I WILL B ALRIGHT and just like ths status I posted a few day ago, I have two options.”
“I KNOW not just BELIEVE, THAT IF I LEAP OFF THIS LEDGE INTO THE DARKNESS OF WHAT IS UNCERTAIN … I WILL EITHER LAND ON MY FEET ON SOMETHING STRONG or I WILL GROW WINGS AND FLY.
“As usual, MUCH LUV AND GOOD VIBES TO U ALL. AND IF U DECIDE NOW THAT U DO NOT “LOVE” ME ANYMORE … KNOW THIS!!! NOTHING WILL EVER MAKE ME STOP LOVING U.”
King has re-appeared on the Jamaican spotlight in recent years, unveiling her fourth studio album, Warrior Girl in 2010, which was released digitally a year later in the United States under the name Agirlnameking. Additionally, she performed at the last two editions of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in Trelawny. At this year’s edition, she shared the stage with multiple award-winning Canadian songstress,Celine Dion.