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Kehlani Is the Cool, Queer Music Icon We Deserve

Kehlani Is the Cool, Queer Music Icon We Deserve

Kehlani Is the Cool, Queer Music Icon We Deserve

The singer-songwriter and R&B powerhouse is one of this year's #PRIDE25!


The way the LGBTQ+ community has been portrayed in popular culture has come a long, long way in recent years. Although there's still a lot of work to be done, so many creative queer folks have been making awesome and inclusive movies, music, TV shows, and more that better represents our lives and our stories, so in honor of Pride Month, we're taking the time to honor 25 of these inspiring people! This is the 2019 #PRIDE25!

While Kehlani is hesitant to define herself with an outright label, when she took to Twitter last year to describe herself as someone who believes “that love lies in every gender there is,” she ruffled some feathers but ultimately made a bold statement with her refusal to define herself in the way that’s so often expected of queer people.

And the singer has been open about her sexual fluidity in her music as well, putting songs out into the world that are about relationships she’s had with people of various genders, not just men as is so often expected of female R&B and pop artists.

“I’m very openly queer,” Kehlani said in an interview with MTV News. “And I thought that my music lacked representation of how my actual life is, and I thought it was important to be myself fluidly, in my music and not just in my life.”

And her queerness is something she’s had to defend many times, both to the straight and LGBTQ communities, who tend to sometimes still see the world in a more binary way than is accurate. Late last year, Kehlani become a mom, giving birth to a daughter she shares with Javie Young-White, her guitarist and brother of out comedian Jaboukie Young-White.

“Imagine thinking queer means lesbian and either means unable to have babies,” she tweeted when the news of her pregnancy prompted ignorant comments online.

In addition to standing up for queer women and promoting acceptance of the fluidity of sexuality, Kehlani made a big splash featuring in a song with Lesbian Jesus Hayley Kiyoko early last year, and drew attention for sharing an unexpected kiss with Demi Lovato at one of Lovato’s concerts.

We’re not sure what’s next for the new mom, but we’re excited to find out — both in the studio and on Twitter, where she keeps speaking up and speaking her mind.

Stream Kehlani's latest EP While We Wait!

And check out more of the 2019 #PRIDE25 honorees here!

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