Watch: Queer Singer Kehlani: 'I Finally Know I am a Lesbian'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday April 8, 2021

Kehlani  (Source:Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Singer-songwriter Kehlani has identified as queer, non-binary, pansexual, and polyamorous in the past. On Easter Sunday, she added a clarification on Instagram Live, Complex reports.

"Want to know what's new about me?" the "Honey" singer said in the video via Twitter. "I finally know I'm a lesbian."

A friend who also appeared in the video, identified as Jamie-Lee, exclaimed: "Bomb drop!"

The disclosure comes at the same time as Kehlani's covering of LGBTQ magazine The Advocate. Kehlani spoke at length with the publication about being queer and having the privilege of being able to pass in everyday life as straight if she so chooses.

"I don't walk down the street and people look at me and go, 'Oh, I bet she's queer,' " Kehlani said in the interview, according to a report in People Magazine.

"The R&B singer, 25, has been one of the several queer artists to prosper within the current mainstream music scene, with two Grammy nominations and appearances on the Billboard 200 album chart," People noted, before gong on to add that " 'straight and cisgender presenting' privilege has played a part in finding success" for the 25-year-old recording artist.

" 'I have a lot of privilege,' says Kehlani, who uses she/they pronouns," the People article added. " 'I think a lot of artists who we talk about and say, "Oh, they had to come out, or they had to do this," a lot of them can't hide it.' "

Kehlani went on to point out that "It's tougher for trans artists. It's tougher for Black gay men. It's tougher for Black masculine gay women."

Kehlani also gave a shoutout to Black trans women, expressing admiration for their "not only living their true f---ing power" but also having the strength to be "courageous and be fearless and then fiercely educate everybody around them and just be a force in this world."

The star went on to say that her two-year-old daughter, Adeya Nomi, whom she had with guitarist Javie Young-White, is growing up seeing representations of LGTBQ people and their families.

"She sees healthy queer couples," Kehlani said.

"Our generation already kind of broke the mold of getting to that point," the R&B singer said, "so I don't even think our kids are going to think about it as something that they have to identify and differentiate.

"I feel it should be normal."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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