Entertainment » Celebrities

Gossip Sites Insensitively Report on R. Kelly’s Kid Coming Out as Trans

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jun 10, 2014
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Jay Kelly
Jay Kelly  (Source:Instagram)

The youngest child of R&B icon R. Kelly made gossip page headlines Tuesday after coming out as transgender. But some "tell all" sites are insensitively reporting on the story, using feminine pronouns to describe the singer’s child who was born anatomically female.

Jay Kelly, 13, was born Jaya, came out as trans on Instagram but said he has identified as male since "6 or 7."

InTouch reports, as of three months ago, Jay said R. Kelly was not aware of his transition but that his mother Drea, who stars on the reality show "Hollywood Exes," has been supportive.

"[My mom] was like, ’Baby, you know I love you if you were bi, gay, [lesbian], you name it and I would still love you so much,’" Jay wrote on his Ask.fm page, a social media site that allows people to ask users anonymous questions. "She was very proud of me, I was like, ’Thank you mum for accepting the fact that I’m a transgender.’"

He adds: "And same with my sister, she told me that she was proud of me, and respects me by calling me handsome and calling me her little brother now, and I love her for that, so you know it was great for me."

Jay says that he is pre-op but wears a binder on his chest and hopes with the help of surgery and testosterone, he can be fully comfortable with his body.

"I believe I am a boy and want surgery, and the medication to help me who I was supposed to be," he said, according to InTouch.

Though he’s receiving support from his mother, British news site Pink News reports that gossip sites reporting on R. Kelly’s son have come under fire for insensitive writing, questioning if Jay’s transitioning is part of a "trend."

Pink News says some sites even use the female pronoun to describe Jay, including the site TattleTailzz, which has the headline: "One of R. Kelly’s Daughters Identifies Herself As A Transguy."

Another site, NaturallyMoi, writes: "Jaya has grown up, and is appearing in blogs as a 14-year old, but not as the pretty little girl that she once was.... The child also doesn’t want to be pretty anymore, she would prefer to be handsome. She is part of the latest trend in the ’Transguy’ culture, where young people are choosing to claim whatever gender they identify with the most."

The article notes that R. Kelly’s ex-wife, Drea, split from her new husband after two months of marriage and asks: "Do you think that Jay’s transition was a natural one, or do you feel that it was influenced by the instability in her household? If she’d (he’d) had normal parents, would this child feel the need to make this transition, or is there nothing anyone can do about it?"

According to Pink News, a number of trans bloggers have taken issue with the reporting.

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