Acclaimed actress and entertainer Keke Palmer spoke about her sexuality and gender identity while being honored at the Los Angeles LGBT Center Gala on Saturday.
The event was held at the Fairmont Century Plaza and saw attendance from some of the industry’s biggest stars. According to Variety, Palmer was presented with a Vanguard Award from Karamo Brown during the center’s annual gala, and delivered a speech focused around her sexuality and gender, and just how difficult her journey has been.
“I’ve always been my own person,” Palmer said. “Sexuality and identity for me has always been confusion. 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.”
“So often, I lead with masculinity. And as a woman, I’ve always been met with so much disdain, you know what I mean?” she continued. “I think so much of that came from who I thought I had to be to get respect, admiration and love. And I’ve always really wanted to be like my father; to want to be taken seriously and not diminish because I was a woman. You know, that’s always been a source of, I guess you would say, pain and resentment.”
Palmer’s honor this past Saturday marks the Nope star’s first public appearance since the birth of her child with partner Darius Jackson. At one point during her acceptance speech, she became visibly emotional after questioning why her gender identity defined her status in society while also deciding her sexuality. “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,” Palmer said.
“You’re supposed to be as a black person or whatever the background you are from… Then those walls just try to cave you in from every damn angle – who you are as a creative, who you are as a friend,” she added. “There is no greater masterpiece than living your truth.”
The Los Angeles LGBT Center was founded in 1969 and has over 800 employees. This year’s event featured live performances, and raised $1.2 million, with funds going to support the center’s health, cultural and social services.