Stevie Wonder Backs Away From “Some Gay People Are Just Confused” Claim

R&B legend Stevie Wonder got some major flack this week when the Guardian quoted him as saying “some people who think they’re gay, they’re confused. People can misconstrue closeness for love.”

Now Wonder has issued an apology… of sorts. (His rep calls it a “clarification”):

“I’m sorry that my words about anyone feeling confused about their love were misunderstood.  No one has been a greater advocate for the power of love in this world than I; both in my life and in my music.

Clearly, love is love, between a man and a woman, a woman and a man, a woman and a woman and a man and a man.  What I’m not confused about is the world needing much more love, no hate, no prejudice, no bigotry and more unity, peace and understanding. Period.”

Okay, Stevie, now we are confused: If you didn’t mean what was pretty clearly stated, then please clarify—don’t just gloss over it with a “you misunderstood me.” Wonder’s original quote stemmed from a discussion of Frank Ocean, who revealed his first relationship was with a man. Now whether Ocean considers himself bisexual, straight or gay, neither we nor Stevie Wonder know.

It’s not for anyone except Frank Ocean to say whether he was confused then or not.

But given the soul-searching gays, lesbians and bisexuals have to do before coming out—to themselves or others—we’d imagine there are a lot fewer “confused” queer folks than there are people who think they’re straight just because they just fell into the heterosexual relationship society pushed them toward.




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  • Dionte

    Some people might be, just like some people that think they are straight are confused. Some not all.

  • Fitz

    It’s a little BS of us to get our panties in a knot over this when we are so quick to think so many straight guys are “just confused.”. What he said isn’t offensive, but our quickness to jump down a friend’s throat is.

  • Aidan8

    This quote feels like it needs context, or maybe I’m just giving him the benefit of the doubt. Even if he meant it, not so sure it’s all that bad a thing to say. There likely are people out there confused or in flux in their sexuality (gay and straight)

  • Dan Avery

    The problem isn’t that there aren’t some straight people who may have thought they were gay at some point—we’ve met several.

    The issue is that a noted figure making a statement like this to a internationally recognized publication gives fuel to those who say ALL gay people are simply confused heterosexuals. If Wonder wanted to make the point that people can be confused about their sexuality, then he should have said “Sometimes people can be confused about their sexuality.” By not including straight people, he’s basically saying any number of us could be heterosexual if we just got our heads on straight.

  • niles

    It’s the same old story, a person that is actually labeled as gay is still considered damaged goods by many.

  • rhino79

    @Dan Avery: You say: “The issue is that a noted figure making a statement like this to a internationally recognized publication gives fuel to those who say ALL gay people are simply confused heterosexuals.” But he specifically said, “some people who think they’re gay, they’re confused.” He wasn’t referring to all gay people. So you’re taking issue not with what he actually said, but with what other people might construe from his words? I’m sorry but the political correctness surrounding discussion of homosexuality has become ridiculous.

  • sandy k

    I’m sick and tired of people giving PHONY insincere apologies, after saying things they REALLY believe! (Stevie Wonder and Fr. Groeschel being only the latest examples.)
    Because it never changes the FACT that they actually SAID IT, or the FACT that they must really BELIEVE IT!


    i gave him the benefit of the doubt but on reflection i’ve changed my mind.

    the context of his remarks was him responding to a question about frank ocean’s sexuality and in that light wonder’s reply by singling out and downplaying the authenticity of some or any same-sex sexuality (not sexuality/love generally) is manifestly biased and it is not unreasonably interpreted as some kind of instinctive defence of ocean’s character or status from this trait. that is the offence.

    the only possible exculpatory factor would be if he knows something about oceans real circumstances that we don’t (i understand they’re at least casually acquainted.)

    is it a serious misdemeanour? no. all the same it seems to betray some unconscious low level homophobia no better or worse than the various unthinking prejudices we all harbour and requiring the same censure and remedial action from which we would all benefit, even the otherwise impeccable stevie wonder.

  • GeriHew

    @Aidan8: Your comment was spoiled (at least for me) by you putting (gay and straight) at the end.

  • Papi Balenciaga

    @Fitz: @rhino79: Thumbs Up.

  • Aidan8

    @GeriHew: I meant “gay OR straight”

  • GeriHew

    @Aidan8: LOL. I don’t like that either. Probably because I’m bi.

Comments are closed.