Brooke Eden Says Hearing Mickey Guyton’s “Black Like Me” Encouraged Her To Come Out as Gay

"[Mickey encouraged] me to be myself because she was so empowered to be herself," Eden said

On the April 4 edition of Apple Music’s Proud Radio with Hunter Kelly, special guest Brooke Eden discussed her January acknowledgment of her lesbian relationship with Hilary Hoover. Eden had been posting photos of herself and Hoover on Instagram for months, but on Jan. 15, Eden formally introduced Hoover as her “soul mate,” saying, “We kept our love a secret for 3.5 years.”

Regarding her inspiration for her announcement, she told Kelly, “[right before the pandemic struck, Mickey Guyton] played [me] ‘Black Like Me’ and ‘What Are You Gonna Tell Her.’” While the duo were eating chocolate chip cookies that Guyton had baked, Eden says, “I’m just sitting there speechless, like ‘Mickey, you’re finally saying all the things that you’ve been feeling for so long,’ and we’ve been friends for a long time and Mickey’s like, ‘I, as a black woman, need to speak up and you as a queer woman need to speak up.’ And for so long, we’ve been silenced.”

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Eden continued, “And I feel like that night, she felt like she needed to encourage me to be myself and because she was so empowered to be herself and wanting to empower me to be me. And it was just the beginning of those conversations with my label who had already encouraged me to be me and just getting this music out that was fully, authentically me.”

Eden and Guyton’s friendship extends back 15 years to when West Palm Beach, Florida-born vocalist Eden was trying out for American Idol alongside Guyton, and she was having a bad hair day. She notes that “Mickey came up to me and was like, ‘Hey girl, I know you don’t know me, but I heard you talking about your hair and [I have] a straightener in my backpack. I will plug it in and straighten your hair for you.’ And I just thought, ’What a cool chick.'”

Eden recently released the track “Sunroof,” and welcomed her love Hilary Hoover to star alongside her in the video.

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