R. Kelly Opens Up About Transgender Child

WGCI screenshot
WGCI screenshot

Earlier this month, R. Kelly’s 13-year-old child, Jaya, came out as a transgender boy and changed his name to Jay. Jay said that his mother, Andrea Kelly, who stars on Hollywood Exes, was very supportive when he came out.


“[My mom] was like, ‘Baby, you know I love you if you were bi, gay, [lesbian], you name it and I would still love you so much,’” he said.

“She was very proud of me. I was like, ‘Thank you, Mum, for accepting the fact that I’m a transgender.’ And same with my sister. 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.”

Although Andrea was fully aware of her son’s transition, R. Kelly was made aware only within the last three months. During a recent interview with Chicago’s WCGI, the R&B star was asked to address the “report of [his] daughter becoming [his] son.” Kelly’s response wasn’t exactly similar to his ex-wife’s.

"You don’t really wanna open it up by saying my daughter is becoming my son,” he said. “Don’t even give the blogs that kind of credit. You know what I’m saying? Real talk."  Kelly was taking issue with the fact that blogs were continuosly reporting about his child using the incorrect pronoun and giving sol would give credence to the sites that did not refer to Jay with a male pronoun.

“Always believe what you see, with your own eyes. That’s the best way to go about this business,” Kelly said. 

Kelly did say that he’s still supportive of his children. “You save money so your kids can go to college—no matter what they are or who they are. They’re still your kids; you gotta support them,” Kelly stated. He also made a point to let the radio station know that he doesn’t “address dumb s—t.”


Although Kelly stumbled around the question a bit, it seems as though both of Jay’s parents are supportive of his decision. 

Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.


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