Kehlani, who uses she and they pronouns, has been open about being part of the LGBTQ+ community for years, and in a new interview, she came out as a lesbian. The singer discussed how they have benefitted from what she describes as “straight passing” privilege in their life. Here’s what they had to say about her journey discovering her sexuality and gender identity.
Kehlani opened for artists such as Demi Lovato and Halsey in 2018
The singer used to be part of a singing group PopLyfe. They then competed on America’s Got Talent with the group but then pursued a solo singing career.
Kehlani has received many award nominations throughout her career, including a Grammy Award in 2016 for You Should Be Here for the Best Urban Contemporary Album category.
They have worked with artists such as Jhené Aiko, James Blake, and Hayley Kiyoko. Kehlani also opened for singers such as Demi Lovato and Halsey. The singer has been open about her sexuality for years and had a child in 2018.
Kehlani had a baby girl with Javie Young-White in 2018
Kehlani shared on Oct. 12, 2018, in an Instagram post that she was pregnant, per Billboard.
“Dearest little girl, I am so proud to be your mommy,” they wrote. “I am so proud to have received you.”
They continued: “I’m looking forward to sharing my little world with you all… my partnership with my very best friend and lover, our journey of conception.”
Kehlani shared a few days later on Nicki Minaj’s Queen Radio that the father of her baby was Javie Young-White, who was their guitarist, per Essence.
Kehlani came out and discussed ‘straight passing’ privilege
Kehlani spoke with Advocate magazine about her identity. They initially came out to the public on Twitter in 2018 as queer.
“I have a lot of privilege,” they began. She described that she is “cisgender-presenting, straight-presenting.”
“I think a lot of artists who we talk about and say, “Oh, they had to come out or had to do this,’ a lot of them can’t hide it,” Kehlani told the outlet. “A lot of it is very [much] in how they present. It’s tougher for them.”
The singer commented that “it’s tougher” for “trans artists,” “Black gay men,” and “Black masculine gay women.”
Kehlani continued: “I didn’t even really have to come out in my private life,” they said. “I don’t walk down the street and people look at me and go, ‘Oh I bet she’s queer. Or I bet that she’s into women’ or anything like that because of the way I present.”
Kehlani attributed that to their “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,” they expressed.
The singer concluded: “I’ve been lucky, super lucky.”
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