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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Inga Parkel

Keke Palmer says she’s never felt ‘straight’ or ‘woman’ enough: ‘I was a little bit of everything’

Getty Images for HOORAE

Keke Palmer has admitted that sexuality and identity have “always been confusing” for her.

On Saturday (22 April), the Nope star was awarded the Vanguard Award from Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown at the Los Angeles LGBT Centre’s annual gala.

The honour recognises those for their advocacy for the LGBT+ community.

During her acceptance speech, per Variety, Palmer said she’s always been her “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 said.

“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,” Palmer continued, adding that this feeling had always been a source of “pain and resentment” for her

Choking back tears, she asked: “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.”

Keke Palmer (Getty Images)

Palmer expressed her gratitude for “being seen in this room”, concluding: “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.”

Pamela Anderson was also a recipient of the Vanguard Award that evening. Director Del Shores and comedian Mayim Bialik were also in attendance to pay tribute to the late Leslie Jordan, who died in October 2022 at the age of 67.

In February, Palmer welcomed her first child, son Leodis Andrellton, with her boyfriend Darius Jackson. The pair reportedly started dating in May 2021.

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