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R. Kelly Talks About Transgender Son for First Time

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Jun 25, 2014
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Jay Kelly
Jay Kelly  (Source:Instagram)

R&B icon R. Kelly, for the first time, spoke out about his transgender child Monday, weeks after gossip websites insensitively reported on her coming out.

The New York Daily News reports the singer spoke about his kid during a WCGI radio interview earlier this week.

"You don’t really wanna open it up by saying my daughter is becoming my son," he said.

R. Kelly’s youngest child, Jay, Tcame out as transgender earlier this month on Instagramand said he has identified as male since "6 or 7." Jay, 13, talked more about his coming out on his social media site Ask.fm.

"I came out through a text to my mum and then I told her when I got more comfortable," he wrote. The teen also revealed that he felt comfortable coming out to his mother, Andrea Kelly, but didn’t feel the same with his famous father.

"I told her because I knew she would love me no matter what, she has not once judged me in life," Jay wrote. "She always told me that she loved me and to be who I truly am."

R. Kelly, 47, divorced Andrea in 2009 after 13-years of marriage. Together, they have three children, including eldest son Robert Jr. and daughter Joann.


R. Kelly  (Source:AP Photo)

When the singer first learned that his son is trans, R. Kelly says he didn’t initially believe it.

"Don’t even give the blogs that kind of credit," he said in his first discussion about his child when a reporter said she was quoting online reports. "As far as that is concerned, always believe what you see with your own eyes, that is. Always believe what you see. That is the best way to go about this business. I’ve heard a lot of things about a lot of people and it was never true."

You gotta know there’s a back story. There’s a background. That’s why you can’t judge nobody," he added.

R. Kelly then discussed all the support he gives his children, saying, "You save money so your kids can go to college -- no matter what they are or who they are."

"They’re your kids, you gotta support them," he added.

Jay noted on his Ask.fm page that it’s been awhile since he’s spoken to his father.

Andrea isn’t the only family member to support Jay, he said his sister Joanna also voiced her support.

"She told me that she was proud of me, and respects me by calling me handsome and calling me her little brother now, and I love her for that, so you know it was great for me," Jay wrote.

He also said he’s looking forward to undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

"I believe I am a boy and want surgery, and the medication to help me (be) who I was supposed to be," he wrote.

When news hit that Jay came out as transgender, a number of gossip and "tell all" websites insensitively reported on it, referring to the teen with the incorrect pronouns and some sites even suggested Jay was part of a fad.


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