Instagram: @keke
Instagram: @keke

Nope star Keke Palmer has reflected on her sexuality and gender identity in a powerful speech.

On 22 April, LGBTQ+ activists, celebrities and allies flocked to the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel to attend the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s The Center Gala event.

During the ceremony, which was hosted by Drag Race judge Ts Madison, Palmer was honoured with a Vanguard Award for her incredible contributions to the LGBTQ+ community.

While accepting the prestigious award, the Hustlers star opened up about her challenging journey navigating her gender and sexuality.

“I’ve always been my own person. Sexuality and identity for me has always been confusion,” she told the crowd, (per Variety.)

“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.”

Palmer then reflected on the “disdain” and pushback she faced for often leading her life with “masculinity” as a woman – which she later described as “a source of pain and resentment.”

“I’ve always wanted to be like my father… to want to be taken seriously and not diminish because I was a 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 continued in between tears.

“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…”

“Then those walls try to cave you in from every damn angle, who you are as a creative, who you are as a friend.”

Towards the end of her speech, Palmer expressed her gratitude towards the event’s attendees and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole for understanding her struggles.

A day after making her powerful speech, the Alice star took to Instagram to share a series of photos from the event alongside a heartfelt caption.

“It was such a gift to be in a room, being celebrated for being exactly who I am. I am so grateful you guys to be living in this time, where yes there is still so much work to do, but dammit, we doing it,” she wrote.

“I am truly filled with so much gratitude, I tried so hard not to ruin my makeup but the tear ducts were giving out. Huge thanks again to the @lalgbtcenter, not just for this award but for EVERYTHING YOU DO TO KEEP OUR PEOPLE SAFE!”

Palmer’s recent appearance isn’t the first time she’s opened up about her sexuality.

Back in November, the 29-year-old revealed on the WHOREible Decisions podcast opened up about fluidity and where she fell on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

“Yeah, I’m definitely in the middle of the scale. I’m definitely even across the board. I feel like love is love, life is life. Do your thing, live your life. I feel that way,” she explained.


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