Ne-Yo says he'll 'never be OK' with gender-affirming care for kids: 'I feel very strongly'

Ne-Yo is doubling down on his controversial stance against children receiving gender-affirming care.

The R&B singer drew backlash on Sunday after an interview with Gloria Velez for VladTV, in which he slammed parents who allow their kids to undergo (often life-saving) gender-transition surgery. Later that day, he posted a statement on social media expressing his "deepest apologies" for his "insensitive and offensive" comments.

But on Monday, he walked back that remorseful message with a video on Instagram, captioned, "I will not be bullied into apologizing for having an opinion."

In the video, Ne-Yo said he normally doesn't care "about what y'all think about what I do," but "this is something I feel very strongly on."

Ne-Yo performs at SiriusXM Studios in New York in 2018.

"I need y'all to hear this from the horse's mouth, not the publicist's computer," Ne-Yo said. "First and foremost, I did 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. If my opinion offended somebody, yeah, sure, I apologize for you being offended because that wasn't my intention. My intention is never to offend anybody."

He went on to say that he is "entitled to how I feel" and that he has "no beef with the LGBTQIA+ community whatsoever."

"However, I will never be OK with allowing a child to make a decision that is detrimental to their life," Ne-Yo said. "I will never be OK with that. I definitely plan to educate myself a little bit more on this matter. However, I doubt there's any book anywhere or any opinion that somebody's going to tell me that's going make me OK with letting a child make a decision like that."

The singer ended the video by encouraging viewers to voice their opinions. "If I get canceled for this, then, you know what, maybe this is a world where they don’t need a Ne-Yo no more," the Grammy winner said. "And I ain't got no problem with that. I'm a hustler, alright? I'll figure it out. I love everybody. Live how you want to live. Love how you want to love, but your opinion is yours."

Monday's retraction was in stark contrast to his earlier remarks on X (formerly known as Twitter), in which he apologized to "anyone that I may have hurt with my comments about parenting and gender identity."

"Gender identity is nuanced and I can honestly admit that I plan to better educate myself on the topic, so I can approach further conversations with more empathy," Ne-Yo wrote. "At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone's freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness."

According to data released by Pew Research Center last year, about 5% of young adults identify as transgender or nonbinary. But not everyone who wants gender-affirming care has the means to access it: Only 14% of young people (through age 24) who said they wanted gender-affirming hormone therapy actually received it, according to a study last year from The Trevor Project.

About 80% of those who received gender-affirming hormone therapy had at least one parent support their gender identity.

More:What to know about gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary communities

Contributing: David Oliver

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