Forwarded email claims that hip-hop/R&B star Ciara was born male and is either a secret transvestite or underwent a sex-change operation to become a transsexual.
Description: Internet rumor / Hoax / Spoof
Circulating since: 2005 (in this form)
Status: False (see details below)
Email text contributed by Ryan C., March 10, 2005:
Ciara reveals her Goodies
By Nolan Strong, allhiphop.com
"I am gay." These were the words recording artist Ciara spoke Wednesday night to millions viewers on BET’s 106 and Park in a precedent-setting event for cable television.
Ciara’s "coming out" as a lesbian would have been difficult on its own. But also having to admit that she is really a he on national television was cause for celebration among the gay and lesbian community. No major pop singer has ever come out as a transvestite to viewers explicitly after already releasing an album.
The event brings to the spotlight questions about just how far gays and lesbians have been accepted into mainstream society, specifically hip hop culture. People are divided as to what this event means for gay and lesbian individuals as well as for the community at large.
However, as in any controversial issue, there are differing opinions.
"Tonight it's homosexuality, next its tranvestites, tomorrow it's something else," said Sean "P-Diddy" Combs, President and CEO of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, in an interview with allhiphop.com.
The goal for many gays and lesbians is creating awareness about the reality of their identity and lifestyle.
"As a community, we have to fight against those who attack us," said former pop star Rupaul, who herself performs in "drag" but concealed her real gender from the public. "Personally, I have a tendency to react with anger. At the same time I realize these people have been fed lies about gay and lesbian people.
"Part of our job is to offer information to those who have been lied to.
The 'Ellen' episode already offered a slice of true information about lesbian and gay people to a large audience," she added. "But Ciara’s entire appeal was based of this teenie bop heterosexual imagery and less of her sheer talent? Will she maintain her celebrity status? Maybe she will. Will she have as many listeners as before now that she has come out? I doubt it.
UCLA English Professor Arthur Little, who teaches gay and lesbian literature, said he approved of the humorous portrayal of the subject matter on "Ellen." However, he stressed the serious aspects that surround this particular controversy.
"It allows the American public to see the humor and that gay people laugh too. We have gay teenagers killing themselves at three times the rate of their heterosexual counterparts. This is a serious issue," he said. Despite the raging controversy surrounding this issue, Little said that "gay people are as much a part of our public culture as straight people."
Ciara was building a strong case for herself as a mainstay in the music industry. Her debut album "Goodies" was certified platinum by the RIAA, and she has been named the recipient of the 2005 Sammy Davis Jr. Entertainer of the Year Award at this year’s Soul Train Awards.
The self-proclaimed ‘Crunk n B’ artist will release her third single "Oh", (featuring Ludacris) next week and a video for the song will also be released at the end of the month.
In addition to being named Entertainer of the Year, Ciara has been nominated for four Soul Train Music Awards.
Analysis: There are so many versions of this rumor flying around it's hard to decide which to address first. I may as well begin by dispelling the notion that the article above ever appeared on the hip-hop news site to which it's attributed, ALLHIPHOP.com. It didn't. It's a piece of satire, author unknown, circulating via email since early 2005.
A disavowal posted on ALLHIPHOP.com not long after the spoof went into circulation read as follows:
If you happen to read that AHH’s own Nolan Strong wrote a story about Ciara being a trannie he/she, don’t believe it. We didn’t write it, but somebody is trying to be creative with starting rumors. Ciara is alllllll woman, baby!
In point of fact, the Ciara-is-a-hermaphrodite rumor had already been dismissed as "crazy" by the same website a month earlier:
We consistently get rumors saying that Ciara, the Crunk-N-B Queen, was born with male and female genitalia. We have no CLUE where this crazy rumor started, but it’s not true as far as we know. We’re thinking that she was in the club throwin’ bows a little too hard and some dude decided to start this one. Or maybe it’s those mean faces, but to our knowledge, she only has one female private place. Unfortunately, I’ll never see it. The rumor has good legs though and it’s not dying anytime soon.