Ne-Yo Apologizes to LGBTQ+ Community for Comments on Gender Identity and Parenting

The artist shared a message to those who were offended by his recent remarks and said he is looking to 'better educate' himself.

Ne-Yo is apologizing in the wake of backlash to recent comments he made regarding transgender children and criticizing parents who support their kids identifying as a different gender than that which was assigned at birth.

"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," Ne-Yo, 43, shared in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday.

"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," he continued. "Gender identity is nuanced and I can honestly admit that I plan to better educate myself on the topic, so I can approach future conversations with more empathy."

He concluded, "At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone’s freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness."

The comments in question came during an interview with Gloria Velez for VladTV, when the father of seven got onto the subject of gender identity.

"I just personally come from an era where a man was a man and a woman was a woman," Ne-Yo shared in the interview. "There was two genders, and that’s just how I rocked."

Ne-Yo continued, "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."

Ne-Yo went on to say that he feels some parents have "almost forgotten what the role of a parent is," and equated a child coming to their parents to express their gender identity as a kid asking for more candy than they should eat. 

"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?" Ne-Yo expressed. "When did that happen? I don’t understand."