Paris Jackson Opens Up About Discovering Her Sexuality and Gaining Her Family’s Support
Paris Jackson told Good Morning America she came out when she was 14. That was three years after the death of her father, Michael Jackson. Now 23, Jackson says she still had a journey of evolving her sexuality, and coming to terms with the family’s feelings on it.
Jackson spoke with Willow Smith for Red Table Talk on June 16. Jackson opened up to Smith, who is bisexual, about her journey.
Paris Jackson learned she didn’t have to conform to any social ideas of sexuality
Jackson told Smith that when she was younger, she struggled with social pressure to conform to a certain image.
“I thought for a really long time that the only way to express my sexuality as being a female that liked other females was to be super masculine,” Jackson said. “I had the short hair and all the things, I just didn’t know any better, I was learning as I was going along, and was very sheltered from all of that at a young age. So I just went all in immediately.”
Over the years, Jackson said she gained the confidence to express herself on her own terms. She now has long hair again.
“Now I can do whatever and do whatever feels good, and dress however and act however,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t change how I feel on the inside. It’s just as long as I’m me, I can be feminine, I can do whatever, as long as it feels like me.”
Some of Paris Jackson’s family doesn’t talk about sexuality
Michael Jackson’s family are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Paris Jackson said they don’t talk about issues of sexuality.
“I’m still kind of figuring it out,” Jackson said. “My family is very religious and a lot of homosexuality is just bery taboo so they don’t like to talk about it. It’s not really accepted but I’ve gotten to a point where I respect them and I have love for them. I respect their beliefs, I respect their religion.”
Jackson said she has found peace in being herself without expecting anything from others.
“Right now I’m at a point where to expect them to put aside their culture and religion, expectations to me lead to resentments,” Jackson said. “What people think about me isn’t my business. There were moments where it was really hard. You feel alone, you feel excluded.”
Some of the Jacksons support her
Jackson said her siblings have been a bit more open to learning about her sexuality. Jackson has older brother Prince Jackson and Omer Bhatti, and a younger brother Bigi Jackson.
“My brothers, they didn’t understand it at first,” Jackson said. “They’ve always been super supportive. Prince joined a GSA [Gay Straight Alliance] club in high school to learn about it because he wanted to support me. Not a lot of people can say they have siblings that support them like that.”