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"I don't think that she's going to even think about it as 'This is different from normal,' " says Kehlani

By Benjamin VanHoose
April 06, 2021 02:05 PM
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Kehlani
Credit: Kehlani/Instagram

Kehlani is raising their daughter to defy societal constraints.

The 25-year-old "Bad News" singer is mom to daughter Adeya Nomi, 2, whom she shares with guitarist Javie Young-White, and speaking with Advocate, Kehlani tells the magazine they're raising their child surrounded by a group of loved ones who are "loudly queer" so she knows she'll be embraced no matter how she identifies.

"All my friends, all her aunties, uncles, her godparents, everybody is just loudly queer," says Kehlani, who uses she/they pronouns and identifies as queer. "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," they add. "She sees healthy queer couples. So, I don't think that she's going to even think about it as 'This is different from normal.' "

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Kehlani says since many "societal standards" are "just old and outdated" to her, they wants their child to know they can blaze their own trail and not confine themselves to social norms.

"There's a lot of societal standards and they're just old and outdated. Things like you have to go about life one way and you're raised to find something you're not passionate about and stick to it and make certain amounts of money ... and then not help anyone and just hoard everything," Kehlani says. "Anything you could imagine that we've been taught is our purpose, I just want my daughter to know that it's okay to feel you don't agree with any of that and it's okay to march to the beat of your own drum."

"Too many kids," she adds, "they grow up with these incredible, beautiful dreams that aren't anything like what we've been told we have to do. And then they hit teenager years and they're like, 'Oh, s---. I have to fall into the assembly line.' "

Kehlani
Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty

The artist also opens up about pressures to come out for those in the spotlight, adding that she never felt the need to come out to those closest to them.

"I didn't even really have to come out in my private life. 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 say. "That's all privilege 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. ... I've been lucky, super lucky."