Depending on which decade you were born, you may know Tevin Campbell as an R&B singer, a cartoon heartthrob, or the guy whose song started a viral TikTok challenge.
His sexuality became a hot topic earlier this year when he responded to a fan questioning R&B singers’ sexualities by saying, “Tevin is 🌈 ” in a now-deleted tweet.
Fans had speculated about Campbell’s sexuality, but he kept his private life away from the public.
“I didn’t hide anything about me. I didn’t try to act a certain way or anything,” he said. “You just couldn’t be [gay] back then,” he said.
Campbell further praised Black artists like Lil’ Nas X and Frank Ocean for publicly embracing their queer identities, saying, “I’m glad I get to see [this]. I’m glad that it’s changing.”
In the podcast interview, Tevin explained that as a teen star, he knew his sexuality but didn’t have the time to process it.
“There are a lot of kids, especially young Black boys, that need to see representation. They’re not being taught to love themselves because of who they are,” he continued, touching on how toxic masculinity has brought pain and even death to the young Black queer community.
I gotta say, as a Black queer man, Tevin is 100% right. I grew up in the ’90s listening to his music, dancing alongside Powerline, wishing for a day that I could embrace my sexuality. Now, I’m vibing out to his music with a wish fulfilled. The world sees us now, Tevin Campbell.
I’m also clearly not alone. Fans have also flocked to Twitter to voice their support.
It looks like Powerline had it right all along: “If we listen to each other’s heart, we’ll find we’re never too far apart.”