Ne-Yo apologises for controversial remarks about gender identity and recognition
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Ne-Yo has apologised for recent remarks he made regarding gender identity and recognition. The American singer-songwriter said he plans to ‘better educate’ himself on the topic and ‘approach future conversations with more empathy’.
Appearing on VladTV, Ne-Yo questioned the ‘role’ of parents in supporting children who identify as a different gender to the one they were assigned at birth. He told Gloria Valez: “I just personally come from an era where a man was a man and a woman was a woman. And there was two genders, and that’s just how I rocked.”
“You could identify as a goldfish if you feel like – I don’t care. That ain’t my business. It becomes my business when you try to make me play the game with you. I’m not gonna call you a goldfish. But if you wanna be a goldfish, you go be a goldfish. We live in a weird time, man. We do.”
He added: “I feel like parents have almost forgotten what the role of a parent is. If your little boy comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl.’ And you just let him rock with that? He’s five … If you let this five-year-old boy decide to eat candy all day, he’s gonna do that. When did it become a good idea to let a five-year-old, let a six-year-old, let a 12-year-old make a life-changing decision for themself?”
Ne-Yo - whose real name is Shaffer Chimere Smith - is the father to five children from two different women - Crystal Renay and Monyetta Shaw. He also recently submitted court papers to establish paternity of two more children he claims he has with current girlfriend, Sade.
The RnB singer took to social media on Monday to issue an apology for his comments to Valez. He said: “After much reflection, I’d like to express my deepest apologies to anyone that I may have hurt with my comments on parenting and gender identity.”
“I’ve always been an advocate for love and inclusivity in the LGBTQI+ community, so I understand how my comments could’ve been interpreted as insensitive and offensive.”