PAPER Magazine has made Kehlani the cover star of their 2018 Pride Issue and in it, she’s talking a lot about what it’s like to identify to her sexuality throughout the years. In the issue, Keh switched up the photo shoot completely, after feeling uncomfortable with what originally put on the table.
The result is a colorful spread, full of yellow and pink and Kehlani not only dressed in dresses and blazers, but her showing off her tattoos.
In the interview for the magazine, she also opens up about feeling “butch” growing up, but embracing femininity, what she considers herself (pansexual) and why her music talks about both men and women, depending on who she’s dating at the time.
On her honesty:
“I have to check myself with when I do give information. I’m a bisexual woman who has been with men, and a lot of queer women are sensitive to that. I’m a mixed woman who is white presenting at times, and a lot of black people are very sensitive to that so I’m sensitive to that. And I’m a person who has mental health issues, but I live a ‘stable life’ in the eyes of a lot of people, so I have to be careful when I’m speaking on that.”
On mental health:
“Who would I be to have gone through things and get to the point where people believe in me and not share [information] about something as imperative as mental health?. I know how prevalent it is. It’s been a major part of my life,” she adds, explaining that she’s experienced depression, ADHD, OCD and PTSD, and that she was medicated for a stretch of her childhood, which dulled her personality. “How can I have the nerve to make music about it, but not do things to help? I try to speak about it from a non-condescending place, though, because it’s really hard for people to receive information from someone that they think has a perfect life.”
Read the full interview over at PAPER Mag.