Keke Palmer opened up about sexuality and gender while being honored Saturday by the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
According to Variety, Palmer was presented with a Vanguard Award from the LGBT Center during the annual gala, which took place at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel. During her speech, the actress reflected on her sexuality and identity, explaining how the two have always been clouded in confusion.
“Sexuality and identity for me has always been confusion,” Keke said onstage, per the outlet. “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.”
She added: “So often, I lead with masculinity. And as a woman, I’ve always been met with so much disdain. I think so much of that came from who I thought I had to be to get respect, admiration and love. I’ve always really wanted to be like my father…to want to be taken seriously and not diminish because I was a woman. That’s always been a source of pain and resentment.”
At one point during her speech, Palmer fought back the tears as she asked why her gender defined her status in society while also deciding her sexuality. Those questions were something she’s been reflecting on since she was a child.
“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 added. “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.”
After the event, Palmer took to her Instagram account with photos from the night, including one of her posing with Queer Eye star Karamo Brown, who presented her with the award.
Keke Palmer’s Vanguard Award arrived two months after she gave birth to her first child with her partner Darius Jackson.