by Karu F. Daniels
Not many fortysomething actresses can boast a career spanning four decades. Thanks to appearances in early â€˜80s films and starring roles on the now classic Martin and Everybody Hates Chris, Tichina Arnold holds that distinction. And sheâ€™s still at it as Fran Drescherâ€™s best gal pal on TV Landâ€™s Happily Divorced. Here, the 43-year-old New York born singer lets loose on marriage, rumors that sheâ€™s a lesbian and why she loves a good Twitter brawl.
I realized I made itâ€¦when I got paid [after booking soap opera] Ryanâ€™s Hope. It was a completely different world because I was coming from musical theater. Once I was in front of those cameras, I got the bug.
The most humbling thingâ€¦is being a mother. Iâ€™m humbled by the fact that when I was on Everybody Hates Chris, I would work 16-hour days and come home and have to wipe somebodyâ€™s butt.
My first splurge wasâ€¦a house in Atlanta when I was on Martin. I was 27. It was the only house on the hill in this subdivision, across from Jermaine Dupri and down the road from Evander Holyfield. My boyfriend at that time wanted to buy it but he couldnâ€™t afford it. So, I bought it. Everybody lived in it but me. I was living in California and didnâ€™t go back and forth to Atlanta too much.
Gay husbandsâ€¦are called â€œgusbands.â€ I told my real husband, â€œListen honey, youâ€™re going to be happy to have him around because heâ€™s going to do all the things that you donâ€™t want to do.â€ Now, he introduces him to his friends as my â€œgusband.â€ Every woman needs one.
Youâ€™re not a celebrity untilâ€¦youâ€™ve had a gay rumor. Iâ€™ve been around gays, transgenders and transsexuals. I accept people for whom and what they are. Everybody says youâ€™re guilty by association. What do I have to be guilty about? I know lesbians. My friends are my friends and I donâ€™t give a damn what people think.
Marriage equalityâ€¦is not just about love. Itâ€™s about property, belongings, what you built together, what you share together and the things people donâ€™t realize that are caught in the balance of two people not being able to have this union. The institution of marriage was built for the purposes of property, not love.
Martin Lawrenceâ€¦taught me to keep on my toes. Once those cameras started rolling, he would go off script in a matter of seconds. You had to be ready. Thatâ€™s what I loved about his comedy. It prepared me to be a better comedic actress.