Keke Palmer talked all about gender and sexuality while being honored by the Los Angeles LGBT Center on Saturday.
Palmer was presented with a Vanguard Award from Karamo Brown during the center’s annual gala at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel. According to the actress, host, and singer, she’s always felt like she was “a little bit of everything” when it comes to her sexuality.
“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,” Keke explained during her acceptance speech. “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.”
She continued: “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.”
Palmer ended up choking back tears as she continued speaking, opening up about how she was made to feel when considering her sexuality as a young woman.
“Why did my gender have to define the power I have in the world? And why does my gender get to decide my sexuality?” she asked. “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 went on to talk about how important spaces like the Los Angeles LGBT Center are, letting so many people feel like themselves without being judged.
“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,” Palmer said.
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