Kehlani On Pregnancy Backlash: "I Never Decided to Be a Queer Icon"
In her new cover story with Nylon, Kehlani is getting real about her pregnancy and sexuality. While the singer has always been open about her identity, she chose to discusses the backlash surrounding her surprise announcement and clear up any confusion surrounding who she is.
As previously reported, Kehlani revealed that she was expecting her first child with her partner in Oct. 2018. Following the announcement, Lani said that she was criticized heavily due to people's ignorance in regards to her sexual orientation.
"I’ve gotten everything from ‘I thought she was a lesbian’ to 'she was using queerness to promote her career, then went and betrayed us with a man’ to ‘her baby father is just a sperm donor,'" she said of the fan reactions. "I never identified as a lesbian. I’ve always been pansexual. My first mixtape included songs about males, and songs about women."
In her pregnancy announcement, the "Distraction" singer touched on her sexuality and how having a child isn't exclusive to heterosexual couples. Nevertheless, folks suggested she was in some ways betraying her queerness. She's not okay with this opinion however.
"I also saw a lot of discomfort with the use of the word ‘queer,’ hinting that it’s used for folks to run away from identifying with a more ‘solidified’ term like bi/lesbian/gay/pan," she continued. "My response is: Whatever makes you feel your safest, in your truest identity, you should identify as such without being policed by the same community you are supposed to feel most safe with."
All hate aside, Kehlani admitted that she enjoys representing for the LGBTQ+ community, although she never intended to be the poster child. "I never woke up and decided to be the ‘queer icon’ of the century. Having so much attention on me outside my art already gives me enough anxiety," she added. "There are people out there in this community fighting for equality in realer ways than making songs about it and performing at events like I am."
Check out Kehlani's full cover story here.
READ MORE: Kehlani Announces She Is Expecting A Child