WATCH: Kandi Burruss Talks LGBTQ+ Support, Being Sexually Fluid, And Friendship With Victor Jackson
Since 2009, Kandi Burruss has opened up her life to millions of viewers across the country on the hit Bravo reality show The Real Housewives of Atlanta. But long before she became a crossover success, the Grammy award-winning producer was already a household name among Black audiences as a member of 90s R&B group Xscape. Over the last decade, Burruss has displayed her unwavering public support of the LGBTQ+ community on camera and off, endearing her to legions of Black LGBTQ+ fans—one of whom started as an admirer and has become a frequent collaborator and friend—queer recording artist and choreographer Victor Jackson.
Both Atlanta natives and graduates of Tri-Cities High School of Visual and Performing Arts, Jackson recalls meeting Burruss, whom he jokingly revered as the “patron saint of Tri-Cities,” for the first time.
“We met randomly at her best friend's birthday dinner party. I was a plus one to Derek J, a mutual friend of Kandi and ours. And the rest is kind of history,” he says.
It was at this birthday party that Burruss would see Jackson dance for the first time, and by the time he sat back down, she had extended an invitation for him to become her choreographer, which led to guest appearances on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The Bedroom Kandi creator tells The Reckoning that her embrace of LGBTQ+ people began years before she ever entered Tri-Cities or met Jackson.
“My uncle Ralph, who is second to the youngest, was out and proud,” she says. “And so before I was even born, my family… on my mother's side anyway, was very welcoming. And to me, that was normalized in my family.”
With Burruss’s familial experience countering the narrative of homophobia being more pervasive in Black communities, her public support and transparency about her sexual fluidity has made an impression on millions of Black viewers who otherwise may not receive positive messaging about Black LGBTQ+ people.
“I think since I came on the show from the very beginning, I've always been very open. I don't mind stepping on toes or making people feel uncomfortable at times if that's what needs to happen. And for me, it's not necessarily an intentional thing,” Burruss says.
“On whatever season that was, it became this whole big conversation about me having sex with a woman. However you want to label me or anybody around me, I don't really care. I don't really care about the whole label situation.”
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