Ne-Yo Expresses ‘Deepest Apologies’ for Comments on Parents and Transgender Youth

LOS ANGELES - NOV 21: Ne-Yo arrives at the 2010 American Music Awards at Nokia Theater on November 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA — Photo by Jean_Nelson/Deposit Photos

Ne-Yo has issued an apology for comments he recently made during a podcast interview about parents and transgender children.

The Grammy-winning singer issued a statement Sunday night on Twitter/X, saying he now understands his comments could be interpreted as “insensitive and offensive.”

“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,” the singer wrote in the Aug. 6 statement. “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.”

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The “Miss Independent” singer vowed to learn more about issues affecting the transgender community.

“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,” Ne-Yo added in his statement. “At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone’s freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness.”

The apology came a day after an interview he did with former video girl Gloria Velez for VladTV went viral.

In the interview posted on YouTube Saturday, the 43-year-old singer questioned parents who support children identifying as a different gender than the sex they were assigned at birth.

“I feel like parents have almost forgotten what the role of a parent is,” Ne-Yo said. “It’s like, if your little boy comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl,’ and you just let him rock with that? He’s five.”

The father of seven said parents should set limits.

“If you let this 5-year-old boy decide to eat candy all day, he’s gonna do that. Like, 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?” Ne-Yo added.

“I just personally come from an era where a man was a man and a woman was a woman,” he 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, man. We do.”

Ne-Yo also questioned a controversial California bill that says courts deciding custody cases must consider whether each parent has affirmed the child’s gender identity. Assembly Bill 957 was introduced in February 2023, and the California Assembly Judiciary Committee advanced the bill in June.

The singer-songwriter said the proposed legislation “makes no sense.”