On Instagram live recently, Kehlani, who previously said they were “queer, not bi, not straight”, announced she “finally” knows she’s a lesbian and we love that for her! The singer — famously the romantic interest of Haley Kiyoko in the “What I Need” video — went on to talk about their privilege as a “cisgender-presenting, straight-presenting” person in the music industry.
“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,” she said in the video. “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.”
“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,” they said, obviously referring to straight people. Her tattoos scream some kind of not-straight to me.
“That’s all privilege,” they continued, “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.”
And then she went on to give credit to her Black trans friends for making it look easy to get up and be a bad bitch every day, recognizing how difficult it actually is (considering they face disproportionate amounts of violence and hate). It was v cool of Kehlani to acknowledge all of this and even tell us their sexuality at all considering they don’t have to.
She didn’t, however, go on to tell us who she’s sleeping w 👀