Zoe Saldana Bisexual: Responds With Ellipses When Asked About Prior Relationships With Women

zoe-saldana-allure-cover-2As reported last week, Zoe Saldana probably wants to go down on you. Unfortunately, we only had access to an excerpt of her Allure cover story at that time but lucky for you, I finally got my hands on a copy of the magazine only three or four days later than everybody else did! (It’s been a crazy week.) So let me tell you — the full scoop is quite scoopy. (I should also mention that Zoe gets into some problematic stuff about race in this piece, including her take on her controversial casting as Nina Simone.) (Also, there’s been a backlash to Allure‘s decision to print Zoe’s weight on the cover.)

The story opens with a bit of personal history, discussing Zoe’s childhood in Queens which was interrupted when her father was killed in a car accident and her mother was hit hard with the shock of losing a husband and having scant resources with which to raise a family on her own. She moved the family to the Dominican Republic, where Zoe says she and her sisters faced “a lot of racism, a lot of bullying. The world was cruel.” Her classmates called her “E.T.” because she had a long neck.

Allure then segues into discussing Saldana’s dating history and her current status as “vigilantly single,” as well as discussing some career disappointments and her fierce independence and “single-minded” nature.  Which brings us to a conversation about Halloween costumes:

“I was never a princess — I was either, like, a white ninja or a black ninja,” she explains. Saldana would tell her mother, “‘This year I want to be Rambo.’ And I would get the knife and the gun. I was Rambo.” She was 21 before she carried a purse, until then preferring a wallet in her back pocket.

“Asalia, be aware,” Zoe’s maternal grandmother told her open-minded daughter about Zoe’s sexuality. “Because I’m ready for Zoe to come out of the closet.”

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She later speaks about ladies, implying with near-100% certainty that she’s had girlfriends in the past:

“I gravitate toward it, but it’s not because I’m avoiding women,” she insists. “I love women, I just don’t want them to hurt me.”

Meaning, she’s asked, you have been hurt a lot by women?

“Yes,” she says emphatically.

And was it jealousy?

She thinks it over. “I don’t know, because who am I to say if it’s jealousy? But who I am is really not accepted by a lot of women… I was very traumatized growing up with girls, so it made me always very cautious… and for many years I was very rebellious, I was like ‘Fuck women!’”

All that alienation from her own gender also made her, as Saldana is the first to say, “androgynous,” the very opposite of what she calls “girlie girl.” But, Saldana adds musingly, one day she might “end up with a woman raising my children… that’s how androgynous I am!”

You mean, you would be amenable to the idea of raising a child with another woman as your partner?

“Yes, I was raised that open,” she says solemnly.

Has she had a relationship with another woman?

The actress stares impassively across the table, silent for the first time since the interview began. Her large brown eyes are focused, unblinking. She is not fazed. She is simply deliberating. How much should she say?

Finally: “Promise me one thing: You’re going to ask this question [in your article] — if you choose to, just put three dots as my response. That’s it.”

“…”

Saldana apparently confirmed to Hollyscoop that statements about her bisexuality in Allure Magazine were genuine and that it “…wasn’t a generalization. It was a statement that I strongly stand by. As of today, I’ve been attracted to the male species, but if one day I wake up and want to be with a woman, I will do that because it is my life, therefore it is my decision.”

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But some websites have disputed the “vigilantly single” descriptor this week. In stories that have probably been invented to cover up the fact that you and Zoe Saldana have spent the weekend in a haze of sex and booze, Zoe’s been spotted with Italian artist Marco Perego and “friends say this is the happiest she’s been for a long time… they aren’t calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend just yet but Zoe is super-happy right now. She’s in a really happy place.”

Is that place as happy as your pants? Time will tell.

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Riese is the 32-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1721 articles for us.

59 Comments

    • Thumb up 8

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      what part of this read as her going back in the closet, though, because if she’s bisexual she’s entitled to date men if she wants, but it looked more to me like she’s being branded as dating a guy she hasn’t come out to say that she’s dating?

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      she didn’t “come out of the closet” to begin with – she’s just saying that even though she’s only experienced heterosexual attraction up until now, she’s open and will date whoever she wants to if she feels like it.

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      Or perhaps her minders, agency reps, etc came out in force and tried to enact some quasi ‘damage control’ over personal information getting out. Doubtful scenario but wouldn’t be the first time that has happened in Hollywood.

  1. Thumb up 6

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    man i was so excited reading this article til the end because Of Course She’s Rumoured to be Dating a Dude

    like why would zoe ever be really happy to hang out with a friend??? clearly they are doing the horizontal tango on the reg, cannot be anything else no matter how many interviews in which she brings up dating women

  2. Thumb up 11

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    “As of today, I’ve been attracted to the male species, but if one day I wake up and want to be with a woman, I will do that because it is my life, therefore it is my decision.””

    it reads to me like she is open minded enough to accept the possibility of being attracted to women, or even just a woman, should that ever happen.

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      This is exactly how I’m reading it, none of her comments here make it seem like she is bisexual. The comment from Hollyscoop actually seems like a confirmation of her being straight, if it’s saying anything at all.

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        I dunno, do straight people really think stuff like “if one day I wake up and want to be with a woman, I will do that”? To me, it seems like she is still figuring out.

        Non-monosexuality is diverse and poorly represented in both – queer studies/literature and mainstream media. Consequently it is quite common among fluid people to come into terms with their sexuality later in life than it is the case for the majority of homosexuals.

        I tend to believe female celebs when they talk about same-gender attraction because there is nothing to gain for them by admitting to it. Sure it makes our little queer hearts swoon but in the bigger picture the mainstream media doesn’t care for women and the reality of female sexuality. They just paint them however they think will make them more appealing to straight men.

        Also HOW INCREDIBLY INVASIVE IS THIS INTERVIEW?

        • Thumb up 5

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          I personally have heard straight people say that so maybe that’s why I didn’t take it like that. I get what you are saying but I have to disagree with your last paragraph. Straight men love to think of a woman who will “play” with women but ultimately be with them. Also, saying something like this has given her even more press so I do think she has something to gain by being this elusive. Beyond that though she didn’t say she was figuring things out she said she would choose to be with a woman in the future IF she woke up one day and was attracted to one. I am honestly confused how people are celebrating this as a coming out or anything at all. And I’m not attacking anyone I am just seriously confused.

  3. Thumb up 5

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    Frankly I am not buying it. As far as I am concerned Zoe does like many Hollywood actors do, she plays to her audience. I mean this interview didn’t make any sense to me. For example:

    “She later speaks about ladies, implying with near-100% certainty that she’s had girlfriends in the past:

    “I gravitate toward it, but it’s not because I’m avoiding women,” she insists. “I love women, I just don’t want them to hurt me.”

    What is she gravitating to then? Seems like she IS avoiding women, and I am not bisexual but it plays toward the existing negative perceptions of bisexuals as indecisive and flighty when Saldana say:

    “I’ve been attracted to the male species, but if one day I wake up and want to be with a woman, I will do that because it is my life, therefore it is my decision.”

    Like everyone else I’ve only known her as attracted to the male species.

    What the hell is she talking about? OmyGoddess, Really?

    This is how I determine the truth tellers i Hollywood: What I see with my own eyes.

    1. Amber Heard, I have seen her involved with a woman/with Johnny Depp who she left for anoher woman.

    2. Michelle Rodriquez says she is straigh but I have never read or seen her involved with a male. I’ve only seen her with women. As recently as last week.

    Hollywood starlets aren’t very honest when it concerns sexual identity and their claims should be taken with a grain of salt.

    • Thumb up 11

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      I’m sure you’ll agree upon further reflection that it’s unfair to require that bisexuals always know exactly what they want all of the time. No bisexual may ever be confused, or not 100% decided, or still figuring herself out, or express her bisexuality privately or differently than you deem genuine, because then she’ll reinforce the stereotype of bisexuals as flighty and indecisive? No thanks. I’ll take flighty and indecisive over that kind of pressure.

    • Thumb up 5

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      “… I am not bisexual but it plays toward the existing negative perceptions of bisexuals as indecisive and flighty..”

      Or, you could thinking of people as, you know, people instead of stereotypes.

      “This is how I determine the truth tellers i Hollywood: What I see with my own eyes.”

      Funny, I always simply took people at their word and didn’t presume that I know their own sexuality better than they do.

    • Thumb up 3

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      Michelle Rodriguez…..straight? Yeah, right….a straight up liar. LOL. I remember reading about her being in a relationship with that singer Blu Cantrell years ago, including pics. of them getting cozy and feeding each other cake. I don’t know if it was true or not, but Michelle set my gaydar off the minute she stepped onto the scene.

  4. Thumb up 11

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    Why can’t we all just be okay with her NOT specifically stating her sexual orientation? If we want to advocate that people stop asking us about our coming out experience, maybe we ought to stop expecting it of LGBTQ peeps in the public eye.

    She basically “came out” as a Human. High Five, chica!
    Welcome to being Humanity. Welcome to Life.

    • Thumb up 2

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      Uh…because she’s the one who brought it up? It’s not as if anyone is digging around her sexual closet and asking her to explain herself.

      This is just a let me get nude and talk about how much I *might* want to kiss a girl moment.

  5. Thumb up 12

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    I actually feel like it would be amazing if everyone thought about their sexuality as something that could potentially change, and that that would be ok; not that their sexuality could deliberately be changed, but rather that you cannot really know now who you’re going to fall for in the future (and, in fact, that the gender of the person you are currently in love with might not remain the same forever, either). I think it would be particularly radical if our culture was such that men who are have been exclusively attracted to women would be able to say, one day I might fall in love with a man, because human sexuality is complicated and I am always growing. I know, not gonna happen anytime soon! But I’m taking Zoe Saldana’s comments in that spirit.

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      This is pretty much how I see sexuality (and life in general really), although I know that not everyone thinks like this. I took Zoe’s commentary this way too. I find the reactions of her expression toward her own sexuality interesting because it seemed to offend some people and others not so much. I find it interesting how someone’s individual experiences of their own sexual identity can offend someone else, when it’s their experience, their expression, their sexuality and their life. I mean isn’t that the very essence of self-identity? The ability to express your experiences, your way? Why do some people feel it necessary to take away someone’s experiences (and alienate them in the process), when it doesn’t fit or match their own experiences? What gives you the right to do so? I think this behavior actually highlights a deeper issue within spaces such as these and I think that it is a problem. On one hand, how can you (the general you) be open to self-identification and expressing your own sexuality and being an open space for other inclined sexualities, when you try to take that very thing away from them because it doesn’t meet you or the communities criteria and or agenda? Not everyone’s sexuality is an agenda, or a political move, nor should it be treated as such, unless told otherwise.

      P.S. – On a side note, if you really love irony and the hilarity that it typically ensues, take a look at what I have observed and the questions I raised and think about it more globally, such as gay marriage and the proponents against gay marriage. It’s the same type of mentality, two extremes of the same side of the coin. You have people out there rejecting your experiences, your self-identity, everyday because it offends them or their agenda, yet you do the same thing to other people? Seriously?

      Anyways, this is just me observing and thinking aloud, don’t mind me.

  6. Thumb up 10

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    “I gravitate toward [women], but [my seemingly straight persona]’s not because I’m avoiding women,” she insists. “I love women, I just don’t want them to hurt me.”

    You girls. Stop hurting Zoe. Then she’ll date one of us.

  7. Thumb up 3

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    I haven’t read all of the comments…so someone might have already said it….

    why do we have to put a title to everything? Why can’t there be free sexual enterprise to love and make love or admire anyone you want without being held to this little classification of what you do. I’ll tell you why…if you can’t be classified, society is afraid of you and that you might seduce them.

  8. Thumb up 3

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    I get free Allure magazines, but I’m usually never in a rush to read them, so they just pile up until I get bored. I finally opened up the Zoe one last night to see what the fuss was about. Not really excited tbh. The nude pic. was nice of Allure. Other than that, she does nothing for me. Not feeling her take on what it means to be “androgynous”….and I don’t agree with her implying that being raised in an open minded home determines orientation. Considering she seems to be pretty honest and bold elsewhere, I doubt she’d be afraid to say if she was “bi” or not. And I was also one of those complaining about her playing Nina Simone. That’s not of her fault, but her unapologetic “Fuck all haters” to those especially including Simone’s daughter didn’t sit well with me. The Nina Simone issue is a whole new ball game, so I’ll just stop there.

  9. Thumb up 3

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    For the most part this whole hoopla just annoys me. More people flirting with bisexuality for attention…yay! No one is making her bring this up in an article, so to just half bring it up and then back off like “OMG my privacy”, is sketchy. Not impressed and I don’t think the gay community really needs that kind of LL-Heche visibility.

    I will say I do understand the issues of race and not being super comfortable with women. I think being a lesbian forced me to be more open to women, but I’ve always been more accepted and comfortable with men. I just don’t get most women and I’m not particularly sensitive to all the nuances required to communicate with most women well…and when I figured it out I just found it kind of tedious. I have more female friends than I’ve ever had (okay and that’s only about two), but I’ll always be a guys girl.

  10. Thumb up 8

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    I love that people are more willing to come out as unsure of their sexuality, or still figuring things out. Not everyone knows exactly who they’re going to wind up with from a very young age! It makes me sort of disappointed for the community when someone speaks out about their fluid sexuality and the immediate response is to try to figure out exactly which label fits them. The same thing happened with Frank Ocean, and you guys, can we just be glad that the tide is slowly slowly turning towards less rigid sexual categories?

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      This, like I’m so over this whole black and white, stupid dichotomous conversation we have about sexuality. It’s okay to be unsure, there is nothing wrong with a little grey and finally labels are not the end all. In the end YOU DO YOU!

  11. Thumb up 4

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    The thing is that almost always the only people allowed to be “fluid” are ones in straight passing relationships. Would anyone say, ~well she’s still figuring herself out, stop paying so much attention to labels~ if Zoe had confirmed she’s in a committed relationship with a woman? I don’t think so? Everyone would say she’s definitely bi or gay etc. Labels matter not because we choose them but because straight people force them on us anyway – while their sexuality is never a ‘label’ or a ‘lifestyle’, it just is, it’s THE sexuality etc.

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      I consider Amber Heard fluid. I’ve only ever heard the LGBT community call her lesbian or bi. Has she ever even addresses her sexuality? She dates who she wants and supports what she wants and doesn’t feel the need to explain it. For that I admire her.

      Regarding “fluidity,” I find that it’s the queer community who never wants believe when someone they perceive as “straight” becomes rather ambiguous regarding their sexuality. As someone who also dates who I want irrespective of gender, I notice that if you’re identity isn’t “lesbian” then gay people in general think you’re confused. Which is so bizarre to me. I find attraction to be pretty absolute even of orientation isn’t. You either like a person or you don’t. So my point is that you’ll be surprise how many “straight” women lean toward fluidity. They’re more honest with their sexuality than people give them credit for.

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    I think she did pretty well. It is a strong statement to say she would get with a woman if one came along, or that she would consider raising children with one, while single (or sleeping with guys). I don’t think she ‘came out of the closet and went back in.’
    Also I totally get the bit about girls being scary, I have been freaked out by girls myself when I was younger, and used to think girls were all mean or something, and hung out with boys mostly, now that did not fit in with the image of lesbianism I was given.
    Why does the journalist insist on asking her about her relationships? As if one had to ‘prove’ somehow that they are genuine about their sexuality. Like I am going to ask someone: ‘You said you liked blow jobs, have you had one recently? Would you consider having one in the future?’
    It is scary to come out as bi or gay, because when doing so, all the space inside of and around us is filled with the demands of labels and there is very little space left for self discovery.
    I work on a LGBT helpline and most of the callers’ worries are around labels. People questioning their sexuality are usually freaked out about not knowing how to ‘be’ or how to have physical relationships because they feel inexperienced, they feel gay or bi has to be one way or another, and they clearly had no support around that, so tip of the hat to Zoe Saldana for being herself and being honest (that being said I had not heard about her before so can’t comment on other things she said/done). Sounds like a tough time for queer public figures who appear to be candid in the way they talk about their fluid romantic and sexual life.

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