Several weeks after telling her fans she’s gay in an April 5 Instagram Live, Kehlani has officially confirmed she’s a lesbian in a new (now-deleted) TikTok. “I’m just gonna f*cking say it because everyone keeps bringing it up to me,” she said on April 22, before referencing the Live video. “They’re like, ‘Kehlani, what’s new?’ I’m like, ‘I finally know I’m a lesbian.’ Well, it’s f*cking true. I am gay, gay, gay, gay, gay.”
Kehlani, who uses both she and they pronouns, joked that the news wasn’t a surprise to anyone close to them. “I’m like, ‘Guys, I finally know that I’m gay. Like, I’m gay gay.’ And they’re like, ‘We know. Duh,’” they said. “Everyone’s just like, ‘Duh, you’re the only one who didn’t f*cking know.’ The f*cking closet was glass.”
Throughout their career, the R&B singer has been open about their sexuality and penned several songs — including 2017’s “Honey” — about women. “I’m queer. not bi, not straight,” they wrote on Twitter in 2018. “I’m attracted to women, men, REALLY attracted to queer men, non binary people, intersex people, trans people. lil poly pansexual papi hello good morning. does that answer your questions?” They deleted the tweets later, writing that they regretted the way they “listed the gender spectrum.”
That same year, Kehlani told Nylon she identified as pansexual. “My first mixtape included songs about males, and songs about women,” she said. “My first album had songs about a nonbinary ex, an intersex ex, and male/female exes.”
Kehlani shares a 2-year-old daughter, Adeya, with her ex-partner Javaughn Young-White. In The Advocate’s April 2021 cover story, she opened up about the importance of raising her daughter in a queer, inclusive environment. “All my friends, all her aunties, uncles, her godparents, everybody is just loudly queer,” she explained. “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.”
She seemingly addressed the positive response to her TikTok in a subsequent tweet on April 22, thanking “those who see me & love me.” On social media and in her music, Kehlani has always been openly, fearlessly herself, and even though the decision to come out is extremely personal — and not something she owes anyone — her candid, funny, and heartfelt TikTok is just one more reason to love her.