Kehlani Opens Up About The Backlash She Faced After Announcing Pregnancy

Kehlani attends Refinery29's 29Rooms San Francisco: Turn It Into Art Opening Party 2018 at Palace of Fine Arts on June 20, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

Kehlani has spoken for the first time about the struggle she has faced since she first revealed her pregnancy to the public, according to reports by E! Online.

Since she made the surprise announcement of her forthcoming baby girl back in October, Kehlani has faced much more backlash than is expected from a celebrity pregnancy. Speaking to Nylon magazine, Kehlani said, “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'”

Kehlani explained how upset she was due to the titles that she was forced to live up to, claiming that she “never identified as a lesbian,” despite saying that some gave her the title of “the ‘queer icon’ of the century.” Kehlani actually identifies as pansexual or simply queer.

Kehlani delves deeper into the explanation of her orientation, saying, “I have always said, and will always say, 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, and those are the ‘queeroes.’ Those are the ones who deserve to be awarded and constantly highlighted.”

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i’ve always been very open with you all about my personal adventures & accomplishments… this was the HARDEST to hide. if you know me, you know i’ve dreamt about motherhood since i was very young. when asked what my goals are, it’s always the idea of a big healthy happy family & whatever comes along is a plus . i am so honored to be given this gift by spirit, creator, and an amazing partner whom i trust with my body and life. i knew sharing something so personal and precious could bring stress into my world but there isn’t a word anyone would say my way that could take away from this. dearest little girl, i am so proud to be your mommy. i am so proud to have received you. i cannot wait to meet you, i know you will be 50,000 times more special than i can even imagine at this moment. i am happy to document this journey and feel the freedom any pregnant person should. 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, my choice for a natural home birth with my AMAZING midwives at @parteramidwifery and eventually… the little pumpkin! i am now a HOME. 4 months and counting with you, angel of mine. SHE DONT WANNN HIDE NO MO ???????????? we’re so ready for you mija!

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The 23-year-old singer-songwriter also reveals the daily criticism she receives due to her identification as “queer,” saying, “I also saw a lot of discomfort with the use of the word queer,” and implying that its usage avoids more “solidified” terms such as “bi/lesbian/gay/pan.”

Kehlani made an effort to give a proper explanation of her sexuality back in April, when she told her fans through Twitter that her identification of “queer” meant “Not bi, not straight.”

She went on to explain, “I’m attracted to women, men, REALLY attracted to queer men, non binary people, intersex people, trans people. lil poly pansexual papa hello good morning. Does that answer your questions?”

Despite her thorough explanation, many of those who saw her tweets were not supportive of the language she used and instead brought even more backlash on the singer, prompting Kehlani to delete her tweets.

While Kehlani has some regrets over the “discomfort” she caused, Kehlani urged people to use whatever identification that they feel most closely represents them, no matter how others feel. She said, “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.”