The comedia- turned-mom took in three-year-old Joshua and took to OWN to show us what her new life is all about. In the first season, we’ve seen her navigate around being a new mother, dating and what it takes to maintain her impressive career. This season, tensions grow because Joshua’s birth mother returns and there’s a big possibility that she wants Joshua back!
“On this reality show, I am still the same person,” Whitley said at a press conference for the new season of “Raising Whitley.” She continues, “Everything you see is real–my raggedy kitchen–all of it. How can you change if you’re not vulnerable and real? To be real and break that wall–I want people to know that I struggle.” Known for her side-splitting humor, it’s very rare to see what’s beyond the laughter. She actually never wanted to do reality TV.
“I thought reality was beneath me and I felt I didn’t need to do it, but I didn’t understand it,” Whitley admitted. “I’m a great actress. Some of the stuff out there is not great and it doesn’t benefit people. Now that I’m in it, I realize you can do something with it. You can make good TV, send a message and have a good time.”
And that’s just what “Raising Whitley” is doing. While we tried to catch our breath from all the laughter that Kym induced, we managed to get in a few questions. We asked Kym about what happens when her reality show got “too real,” how she manages a growing young man who’s going to have questions about being adopted, how to raise that young Black man to not fear the police and what motherhood means to her.
Getting Too Real On The Show:
Sometimes you can be too real on reality. I don’t care. I don’t have anything to hide. Things in the past came out. Everyone makes mistakes. In you 20s you do crazy things. Yup, did that, that was dumb. Everything we do in life is a lesson.
On Telling Joshua About Being Adopted:
He’s smart, he’s going to be four soon. He picks up everything. I use “adoption” around him all the time to make it natural. If I make it something weird, he’ll think it’s something weird. When I got Joshua, I have a lot of friends–people were coming out of the closet with their adoption stories. If Joshua has questions, I’ll say something, but it’s a process. I would never want anyone to wait until I was 13-years-old to tell me all that I thought of my life was a lie. I would rather have him grow up in that truth.
What Is The Fulfillment of Motherhood?:
Motherhood has been an unexpected gift. I used to babysit, it had a start time and end time. With motherhood, there’s a start time and there’s no end time. Just that–it’s such a hug responsibility. It’s changed me, grounded me, I’ve stopped chasing dudes as much. There’s a fulfillment in me. It grew me up. It makes you look at life and my career differently. Everything changed. You hear that, but I didn’t believe them. I can’t be a hooker anymore. You look at that and you say your son is going to grow up and see that. Joshua will grow up and see “Raising Whitley,” we have to be careful with what they’re viewing. It’s changed how I accept anything in my life, especially with the people I date. I’m tired.
How To Tell Her Son About The Police:
What I will tell my son growing up through the years is that you just have to be careful. You have to–not to be quiet and all in the corner, but grow up and be aware of who you are. Just like me as an actress, I can’t be out here all willy nilly saying everything. There’s a certain responsibility.
When you see the police, don’t agitate them. There’s certain things you don’t do. We know there’s things they’ve done. I’m not the judge or jury, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. With my son, he’s going to come with questions–I have to explain to him that things happen in life. There’s certain things you can stand up for and there’s certain things you can lay down for.
My biggest fear is raising him as a man. How does that happen? I’m not a man. If the police roll up on me, I’m not a man, things are different. With a little Black boy, there’s a different experience. I hope I can have my villagers and friends help with me with my son because I don’t understand it. I don’t know what I’m going to tell him. That’s the fear. What did my father tell my brothers? They’ve been profiled.
Impactful Run-In With Racism:
I grew up in Shaker Heights, OH–I was 11. We lived in a predominantly White neighborhood. My brother was running home from baseball, ran through the bushes of my neighbor’s home. The police were saying stuff, but he didn’t hear them. They pulled into the driveway, run the doorbell and my mother passed for Caucasian (not saying she did!) and the officers went into this whole thing about a Black boy running through her yard and how they were looking for him and it’s going to be ok. My Black daddy showed up behind her and he other Black children–I can’t explain to you, that was my first experience with racism. My brother comes and he’s crying and screaming about the police and my mother said, “You mean, this son?” They turned beet red. They were so apologetic. They just assumed there’s no way this little Black boy lives here. That was my first time noticing that with a little Black boy, it’s going to be different.
Check out Kym Talking About “Raising Whitley”:
Watch “Raising Whitley” Saturdays at 9PM EST on OWN!
Celebrities Who Have Been Adopted Or Who Have Adopted
1. Choosing Your Family1 of 12
2. Rosario Dawson2 of 12
3. Mary Louise Parker3 of 12
4. Madonna4 of 12
5. Viola Davis5 of 12
6. Brangelina6 of 12
7. Rachel Crow7 of 12
8. Connor & Tom Cruise8 of 12
9. Lionel & Nicole Richie9 of 12
10. Marilyn Monroe10 of 12
11. Eartha Kitt11 of 12
12. Bill Clinton12 of 12
Kym Whitley: ‘My Biggest Fear Is Raising A Black Man’ [EXCLUSIVE] was originally published on hellobeautiful.com