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Kehlani Talks Queerness And Motherhood With Nylon

Kehlani shocked her fans and the industry when she popped up pregnant about a month ago. The singer has received all sorts of head-scratches and commentary since then, largely because her sexuality has been so publicly fluid…and nobody even realized she had a man at the time. As Kehlani covers this month’s issue of NYLON Magazine (alongside a spread she did just one day before announcing her pregnancy with no one on set even realizing she was knocked up), she gets into all the energy she’s received surrounding her romantic interests and taps into the excitement of new motherhood.

I’ve gotten everything from “I thought she was a lesbian” to “she was using queerness to promote her career, then went and betrayed us with a man” to “her baby father is just a sperm donor.” One, I never identified as a lesbian. I’ve always been pansexual. My first mixtape included songs about males, and songs about women. My first album had songs about a nonbinary ex, an intersex ex, and male/female exes. I don’t always make it a point to identify pronouns in the music because that isn’t the focal point. I think what steered everyone in the direction of categorizing my sexuality (which is still really narrow-minded) was my song “Honey,” and a couple of the features I’d done after.

Although she doesn’t want to define her sexuality in any concrete terms to make others comfortable, she’s VERY clear on what motherhood means to her and what it should mean for other young people pursuing parenthood.

My overall dreams and goals for my life are to love to the highest limits one can experience love. The highest forms of happiness, and graciousness. I believe creating life is one of the highest forms of love! I’m accomplishing one of my biggest goals as we speak.

Make sure this is what you want for unselfish reasons. It’s unfair to bring a child in the world with the burden and unspoken task of mending you, a relationship, or improving your happiness. Although a child will usually naturally bring a deeper meaning of happiness into your life, that isn’t the sole reason for that child’s existence. This is about them.

She’s also a big proponent for all-natural birth. Given the plight Black women face when dealing with medical professionals, she believes it’s important to take control of your own childbirth process.

People, especially black women, are dying at very high rates from hospital complications and medical malpractice (or just f*cking blatant racism). People have been giving birth naturally for ages, obviously, way before hospitals existed. Way before machinery, way before all these procedures. Your uterus, and vagina, are built and designed for birth. You deserve to be in charge of your birth, to be comfortable and listened to, not rushed or prodded at. You deserve to feel 100 percent at peace with full support, in the driver’s seat and not the backseat. This is your body, your baby, your ceremony.

Kehlani certainly sounds assured about her path as a mother. Do you agree with her stance on all natural birth?

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Natt Lim/Getty Images for Coachella



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