Raven-Symoné captivated audiences at the tender age of four when she was added to the cast of The Cosby Show and since then she went on to star in her own show That’s So Raven and films like The Cheetah Girls series. But with all the notoriety and fans relating to the former child star, this is the first time in her life that she’s been able to let her guard down.
The Raven’s Home star and executive producer shared how she was finally able to feel safe to be herself. “I believe in therapy,” she said in an interview with PEOPLE.
“I believe in the couch. I have been guarded my whole entire career because of what I've been taught to do, because of the people around me, because of my childhood.” But thanks to the people she now has around her including her wife Miranda Pearman-Maday, the 36-year-old actress has become more comfortable and outspoken.
"Me getting married to Miranda has helped a lot. The people who are now on my team have really set a foundation that makes me feel comfortable enough because I know that somebody has my back," she said.
“In prior situations, I would say things, I've gotten all kinds of things, but people in my own corner were chastising me as much as everyone else, and I didn't feel secure or safety.”
Her sexuality also played a part in her not feeling safe. In a 2016 video for L/Studio Presents, the Disney star said she knew she was gay around age 12 but was afraid to come out due to her public persona. “I knew I couldn’t say it out loud because, 'Oh my god, little Olivia is gay, this is crazy,’” she said referencing her The Cosby Show character.
“It was always negative. So, if you don’t see other people going through it in a positive way, why would you say anything? There was nothing that would have made me want to deal with my own issue at that time.”
She also mentioned the backlash others faced for coming out as gay in her PEOPLE interview, which convinced her to remain silent about her sexuality.
However, she credited the new generations for motivating her to live in her truth. “But then, you know what happened?” she said. “A new generation came that said, 'We don't care what anybody says.' ”
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images