Ne-Yo recanted his apology for comments made about gender identity in a new video shared on Instagram on Monday, August 7. After tweeting an apology for controversial comments made about parents of transgender children, the Grammy-winner, whose real name is Shaffer Smith, filmed a video, saying that he stood by his comments. “First and foremost, I do not apologize for having an opinion on this matter,” he said early in the clip.
Ne-Yo, 43, faced backlash after he appeared on the popular podcast VladTV, speaking about his opinions on parents of transgender kids providing gender-affirming care. While many medical professionals have recommended gender-affirming care for transgender kids (per The Washington Post), Ne-Yo said that he disagreed with parents providing the care. “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 themselves?” he said. The singer tweeted out an apology the day after the interview came out, before retracting it.
While Ne-Yo admitted that he never intended to offend anyone, he did express that he was “entitled” to his opinion as much as anyone else. Still, he said that he didn’t have any issues with the LGBTQ+ community, but stood by his original comment. “I have no beef with the LBGTQIA+ [sic] community whatsoever. I ain’t got no beef with y’all. Do whatever the hell it is you want to do. Do what you want to do with your kids. However, somebody asked my opinion on this matter, and this is how I feel. I will never be okay with allowing a child to make a decision that detrimental to their life. I will never be okay with that,” he said.
Ne-Yo did explain that he planned to “educate” himself, but he expressed doubts that he would have a change of heart. “I doubt that there’s any book anywhere or any opinion that somebody’s going to tell me that’s going to make me okay with letting a child make a decision like that,” he said. “If I get canceled for this, maybe this is a world where they don’t need a Ne-Yo no more.”
In the caption, the “Because Of You” singer admitted that if one of their children came out as trans at an older age, he would still love and support them. “If one of my 7 kids were to decide that he or she wanted to be something other than what they were born as, once they’re old enough and mature enough to make that decision…so be it. Not gonna love em’ any less. Daddy is still Daddy and he loves you regardless,” he wrote.
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