In an era where gender norms are being questioned and redefined, Will.i.am, frontman of the Black Eyed Peas, recently opened up about his personal experiences with femininity. At 48, the renowned musician talked candidly about the challenges and perceptions he faced growing up and how he views his own identity today.
Navigating Identity in the ‘90s
During the July 31 episode of The Diary of CEO, Will.i.am delved into his past, discussing the formative years of his youth. “Coming of age, I didn't have a man in my life or a father in my life to guide me through that.
My mom did that, which probably made me even ultra feminine, which I have no shame of being super feminine,” he reflected. The artist went on to mention the societal expectations of the ‘90s. Back then, the support and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community weren't as prevalent as today. “Growing up in the ‘90s, [people were] like, ‘Are you gay?’ A lot of people would question if I was [gay] because I was feminine,” he recalled.
Despite the judgments and speculations, Will.i.am asserted his identity with pride. “I'm still feminine,” he said. “I sit where I sit. I act the way I act. My mannerisms are my mom's”.
Strength in Authenticity
Embracing one's true self is where real power lies, according to Will.i.am. “I’m strong with my femininity.
I think it's a superpower,” he said, emphasizing the significance of self-love and self-awareness. He also addressed preconceived notions about sexuality and gender, stating, "I like girls. I never was attracted to men.
I'm attracted to females, but I'm feminine." Furthermore, the musician underlined the importance of emotions, especially for those in creative fields. “There's nothing wrong with being emotional,” he shared. “When you're creative, you're always sensitive, you're hypersensitive.
That's a part of creativity. You feel too much, and I feel too much. I empathize hardcore”. The Black Eyed Peas frontman ended by expressing his belief in the power of connection, recalling how he often engages in deep conversations with complete strangers.
“I'm the guy in the elevator that talks to strangers,” he noted, emphasizing the invaluable exchanges and shared wisdom that such interactions offer. In a world that's evolving in its understanding of gender and identity, voices like Will.i.am’s remind us of the beauty in diversity and the strength in being true to oneself.