The Advocate cover star, Kehlani, has never shied away from being open about her sexuality. Over the years the singer has “come out” as both pansexual and bisexual, but just a few days ago, during an Instagram Live they popped into the camera frame and declared “You wanna know what’s new about me? I finally know I’m a lesbian!”
Kehlani, who calls herself “mixed” (she is Black, white, Native American, Filipino and Mexican), revealed in the cover story that they prefer to be called queer and they use both “she” and “they” pronouns. Despite coming from marginalized communities, they acknowledge that they have a lot of privilege. “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,” they said. “A lot of it is very [much] in how they present. It’s tougher for them. It’s tougher for trans artists. It’s tougher for Black gay men. It’s tougher for Black masculine gay women.”
They even admit that they never really had to come out in their private life, something they acknowledge is a privilege.
“That’s all privilege and I think that there are quite a few artists who were truly at the forefront but weren’t able to make the strides that I was able to make being 100 percent myself because of the way they present and the biases and the phobias of the American public and the world…I’ve been lucky, super lucky.”
Kehlani states that they also are in a constant state of learning and credits “all the beautiful Black trans women” that they have in their life who are “able to just witness–not only living their true fucking power–but [to] be courageous and be fearless and then fiercely educate everybody around them and just be a force in this world!”
The singer is also raising their daughter with a similar awareness, by surrounding her in a progressive and loving environment full of her mama’s “loudly queer” friends and family.
“Our generation already kind of broke the mold of getting to that point, 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. We’ll be reading queer stories, queer books where the baby has two dads, two moms, two parents who don’t identify as either. Movies that have that. She sees healthy queer couples. So, I don’t think that she’s going to even think about it as, This is different from normal,” Kehlani said.