Hours after apologizing for transphobic comments he made about parenting and gender identity, Ne-Yo has walked back his apology and doubled down on his original remarks.

On Sunday evening, the “So Sick” singer issued a remorseful statement via X (formerly Twitter) after saying he would not support a child not identifying with the gender they were assigned at birth. By Monday morning, he shared an Instagram video reversing the mea culpa and insisting he is entitled to his opinion.

“I need y’all to hear this from the horse’s mouth, not the publicist’s computer,” Ne-Yo says in the clip, which has since been deleted.

“I do not apologize for having an opinion on this matter. I am a 43-year-old heterosexual man raising five boys and two girls, OK? That’s my reality. Now, if my opinion offended somebody, yeah, sure, I apologize for you being offended because that wasn’t my intention. … However, I’m entitled to feel how I feel. … You are entitled to feel how you feel. I ain’t ask nobody to follow me. I ain’t ask nobody to agree with me.”

The Grammy winner rescinded his apology days after appearing on “The Gloria Velez Podcast.” During the podcast episode, he and Velez disagreed with the idea of supporting a transgender child’s identity and allowing them to seek gender-affirming care.

“If your little boy comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl’ … you just let him rock with that?” Ne-Yo said on the podcast. “If you let this 5-year-old boy decide to eat candy all day, he’s gonna do that. 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 they self?

“He can’t drive a car yet, but he can decide his sex?” he added.

Later in their conversation, Ne-Yo told Velez that someone once advised him to “ask your son, ‘What is a girl?’” if “your little boy comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl.’

“He might want to play with dolls,” Ne-Yo said. “Fine, play with dolls. But you’re a boy playing with dolls. You want to wear pink? Cool, wear pink. But you’re a boy wearing pink.”

After garnering criticism for what he said on “The Gloria Velez Podcast,” Ne-Yo posted a statement on social media expressing his “deepest apologies” to anyone he “may have hurt.” The statement identified the musician as a longtime “advocate for love and inclusivity in the LGBTQI+ community.”

“I understand how my comments could’ve been interpreted as insensitive and offensive,” the statement read.

“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. At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone’s freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness.”

In his follow-up video, Ne-Yo still vowed to educate himself “a little bit more on this matter” but doubted that “any book … or any opinion” could persuade him to be “OK with letting a child make a decision like that.”

“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,” the “She Knows” artist wrote in the caption of the video.

“But this isn’t even a discussion until they are MENTALLY MATURE ENOUGH to have such a discussion. Period. Point blank.”

Advocates say that gender-affirming care is vital to the well-being of trans youth and that restricting access to such care is harmful to young people. Gender-affirming care can include mental healthcare, social services and medical care such as hormone therapy, according to the Human Rights Campaign. According to the World Professional Assn. for Transgender Health, studies suggest that gender-affirming treatments can improve psychological well-being and reduce suicidal behavior among young people.

Additionally, the Trans Youth Project — which bills itself as the first large-scale, longitudinal study of American trans children — has found that trans kids who socially transition with the support of their families have lower levels of anxiety and depression, on average, than trans children living without such support.


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