"I understand their frustration. I like how people will post pictures of me with other women that I adore, hugging on red carpets, and say, 'See?' Are we so uncomfortable with love between two people of the same gender that we immediately label it as sexual? But I’ve never been bothered by the lesbian rumor. There’s nothing offensive about it, so there’s no reason to be offended," she said.
Washington is not gay, and in fact married NFL star Nnamdi Asomugha over the summer. She is now pregnant with the couple's first child, and still likes to keep that part of her life private.
She added that she's known many closeted people in the business.
"When you buy into the cultural idea of what’s acceptable and unacceptable, you reinforce negative stereotypes and prejudices," she said.
"That wouldn’t work for me. I don’t love to give advice to anyone because we all have to make our own choices, but I’d want to live my life in truth. But there also have to be changes within the Hollywood community. Casting directors and producers have to look beyond sexual orientation in the way that they’re just barely, barely beginning to look beyond race. Until Hollywood learns that actors are artists of transformation, it will continue to be limiting for minorities."
The 36-year-old actress has been an advocate for the LGBT community for quite some time. In August, she was named an honorary co-chair for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network's Respect Awards.
"When there are crimes against humanity being committed in the world, we are all so vulnerable. We have to look out for and protect each other," she said.