Shemar Moore has been dodging gay rumors since even back when light-skinned dudes were in style — and he was playing Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless. But no matter how many public relationships he’s been in — or how many women he kisses on national TV (from Sweet Brown to Phaedra Parks), some people refuse to believe the man is straight. And that goes for men and women, though it’s the men Moore specifically addressed in the latest defense of his sexuality which he says is not up for question.
The 46-year-old actor chatted with BET on the cusp of the release of his latest film, The Bounce Back, and when asked why he feels the need to regularly refute rumors he’s gay, Moore said this:
“I just think it’s all silly. If you’re gay, you’re gay. I’m not, and I know that and I’m very comfortable with who I am and I love women. I’ve dated plenty of them. If you think I’m gay, send your girlfriend over to my house for the weekend and see what happens. For real. You can call that arrogant if you want to. I just call it confident. You can call me whatever you want, but you don’t know me.
“I have fans that are gay, men that come up to me, and they’re inspired by me, or they like me as an entertainer, and when they want to give me a hug or take pictures with me, what, am I supposed to not put my arm around them or stand next to them, and if the man next to me in the picture is gay, that makes me gay? That’s just simpleminded ignorance, and I don’t play that.”
When not ducking gay rumors, Moore has been romantically linked to Halle Berry, Toni Braxton, Kimberly Elise, and Ashley Scott over the course of his career. Asked what’s the most important thing he’s learned about relationships, he said, “celebrate yourself.”
“Don’t settle. And when you find the companionship where you can lift each other up, and where you can be friends, where you can be cheerleaders for each other, embrace it.”