Paris Jackson on Coming Out in Her 'Very Religious' Extended Family: 'It's Not Really Accepted'
"What people think about me isn't my business," Paris Jackson told Willow Smith on Red Table Talk
Paris Jackson is opening up about her family relationships and what it was like for her to come out to her loved ones.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Willow Smith for Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk, the daughter of the late Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe talked about her coming out experience and how her family reacted. The 23-year-old explained that her "very religious" loved ones mostly sweep the topic under the rug, which she said she has somewhat accepted.
"I'm still kind of figuring it out," Paris said. "My family is very religious and a lot of, like homosexuality, is very taboo, so we don't talk about it, and it's not really accepted. I've gotten to a point where I respect them and I have love for them. I respect their beliefs. I respect their religion."
"Right now," she continued, "I'm at a point where, to expect them to put aside their culture and their religion ... like, expectations lead to resentments. What people think about me isn't my business."
Paris went on to say that her brothers — Prince Michael Jackson, 24, and Bigi, 19 — were very supportive of her after she came out. "But there were moments where it was really hard. You feel alone. You feel excluded," she added.
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Paris then explained she was "sheltered" from a young age and went "all-in" on what she perceived as the persona for a woman who likes other women when she was beginning to figure out her sexuality and express herself. Now, she said, she can "dress however and act however, it doesn't change how I feel on the inside."
"As long as I'm me, I can be more feminine, I can be more tomboy; I can do whatever as long as it feels like me," she said.
The singer/actress also discussed her relationship with her mom, Rowe, 62, who came back into her life as a teenager. "It's cool," she told Smith, 20. "Getting to know her, seeing how similar we are, getting into what kind of music she likes. ... We look a lot alike. ... It's just cool having her as a friend. It's very chill, which I love. That's the perfect word to describe it."
Paris has previously been candid about her sexuality, explaining that she often avoids labels. Last year, on her Facebook Watch show Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn, she said, "I wouldn't consider myself bisexual because I've dated more than just men and women."
"It has nothing to do with what's in your pants. It has nothing to do with what your XY chromosome makeup is," she said at the time. "It's literally just what are you like as a person."
Paris went on to say that while it isn't "hurtful" for people to mislabel her, it still "doesn't feel right."
As she told PEOPLE in August: "I don't feel like there is a label for my sexuality that fits. Labels in general, not just for sexuality but for everything, I think, are just ways for humans to make sense of the world, to be able to compartmentalize. ... We're getting past the need for labels. It's beautiful."