Keke Palmer is opening up about her sexuality and gender identity, describing herself as “a little bit of everything.”
Over the weekend, the Nope star proudly accepted the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Vanguard Award, and she took the opportunity to reflect on her own journey with sexuality and gender identity while doing so, according to Variety. During the Saturday gala, which took place at the Fairmont Century Plaza, the 29-year-old gushed about being honored by such a welcoming crowd, saying:
“I’m so grateful to be here today to be embraced by a community that I’ve always felt accepted by and a part of. I’ve always been my own person. Sexuality and identity for me has always been confusion.”
“You know, it’s, ‘I never felt straight enough. I never felt gay enough. And I never felt woman enough. I never felt man enough.’ You know, I always felt like I was a little bit of everything.”
What a tough place to be in! But she’s certainly not alone in this struggle.
Not identifying strongly enough with any particular labels would certainly make it challenging to navigate the world, but no matter what she’s been going through personally, Keke has always and continues to shine with her radiant personality! However, not without some speed bumps along the way. The True Jackson, VP alum added:
“So often, I lead with masculinity. And as a woman, I’ve always been met with so much disdain, you know what I mean? I think so much of that came from who I thought I had to be to get respect, admiration and love. And I’ve always really wanted to be like my father… to want to be taken seriously and not diminish because I was a woman. You know, that’s always been a source of — I guess you would say — pain and resentment.”
It was during this point in her speech that the new mother became visibly emotional, fighting back tears while asking:
“Why did my gender have to define the power I have in the world? And why does my gender get to decide my sexuality? You know, since I was younger, I always questioned the boxes I was forced to be in and it starts with who you’re supposed to be as a child. You’re supposed to be as a Black person or whatever the background you are from… Then those walls just try to cave you in from every damn angle, who you are as a creative, who you are as a friend.”
She graciously continued:
“I’m truly so grateful to be seen in this room because I know I’m surrounded by people who know without a doubt what it’s like to decide to be who you are in a world that tells you to be everything but yourself.”
What a speech!
After the event, The Hustlers star took to Instagram on Sunday to share a few pics with Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown, who presented her with the prestigious award, reflecting:
“I am so grateful you guys to be living in this time, where yes there is still so much work to do, but dammit we doing it! I am truly filled with so much gratitude, I tried so hard not to ruin my makeup but the tear ducts were giving out.”
Aw! See (below):
We love you, Keke! We’re so proud of where she is in her career and personal life, and we hope her speech gives hope to those who may be struggling with their own sexualities and identities. What did YOU think of her words, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments down below!
[Image via MEGA/WENN]