For the third season of It Got Better, the It Gets Better-inspired series, Raven-Symone shared her struggle to come out in a revealing testimonial about growing up in the industry and finding love outside of it.
"I kinda pushed myself to look for boys. I look back now like, 'Woah, you like girls,'" The View co-host admits after revealing that although she felt at home on television sets, there was a period when her brand ruled her life. "I didn't wanna tell my parents. I had the number one show on Disney. I had multiple albums, I'd been on tour with *NSYNC... I didn't wanna deal with that. I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn't matter. It was only what was supposed to be sold as the Raven-Symone brand."
It was when she stepped away from acting and went to college that Raven came out and found love.
"I didn't have to have a 'beard.' I didn't have to have a man standing by me. I felt lighter, I felt like I could go out and not have to put on 17 different hats to be myself."
Along with Raven, stars like Wanda Sykes, EJ Johnson, and Sir Ian McKellen also shared their stories for the series, which went live today.
You can check out video from the series here.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.