Ne-Yo has shared a statement apologizing for his comments about transgender children.
While appearing on VladTV, the “Miss Independent” singer criticized parents who support their children who identify as a different gender than the one assigned at birth.
“I just personally come from an era where a man was a man and a woman was a woman,” the 43-year-old told interviewer Gloria Velez, Billboard reported. “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 that he believes 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 5. If you let this 5-year-old boy decide to eat candy all day, he’s gonna do that,” he said. “When did it become a good idea to let a 5-year-old, let a 6-year-old, let a 12-year-old make a life-changing decision for themself? When did that happen? I don’t understand.”
The producer, who has seven children, asked, “He can’t drive a car yet, but he can decide his sex?”
Viewers took little time to comment on the singer’s thoughts on social media. And after Hollywood Unlocked shared the interview on Instagram, Ne-Yo hopped into the post’s comments to defend himself.
“1st and foremost, I CONDEMN NO ONE,” he wrote in a lengthy comment. “Who am I to condemn anybody? Your life, your kids, your choice. I was asked a question and I answered it. My opinion is mine. I’m not asking anybody to agree with me nor am I telling you what you can and cannot do with your children. I stated my opinion on a matter and that’s that. Why should I care if my opinion upsets you when you don’t care if yours upsets anyone? Opinions aren’t special. We all have one. People voice them regularly whether they’re asked or not. I was actually asked mine. Agreeing to disagree is not a declaration of war. Y’all do whatever the hell y’all want to. But my feelings on the matter are mine. Same way yours are yours. Meanwhile, I love everybody. Don’t agree with some of y’all’s ideals….but love you no less.”
As criticism against his comments, which many described as “transphobic” continued to roll in, Ne-Yo took a different approach. On Sunday, he posted a statement apologizing for his thoughts on parents of transgender children.
“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,” the singer wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “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.”
I’d like to express my deepest apologies… pic.twitter.com/M5aTFN40tn
— NE-YO (@NeYoCompound) August 7, 2023
He also acknowledged, “Gender identity is nuanced and I can honestly admit that I plan to educate myself on the topic, so I can approach future conversations with more empathy.”