Where Are They Now: Meshell Ndegeocello


By Dustin Fitzharris

Do you have any idea who you are trying to be?
[Laughing] Alison just had a baby. He's 11 months now. So I just try to be a good parent. My eldest son just graduated from college, so I'm trying to be someone who is there for the people I have responsibility for.

Your son is going to be 11 months? His birth was kept out of the media. Was that intentional?
Yeah, I try, but it's OK with this. I think it's kind of important to get it out into society about people who are gay or different'they can have a family.

What kind of mother are you?
That's hard. If I looked at myself, I might run away. I try not to delve too deeply into my psyche. I think I'm a quiet, low-key kind of parent. I think I suck at discipline, but I'm really good at the love. I just try to have fun and keep the environment mellow.

Your eldest son, Solomon, is 21. Does he want a career in show business?
No, he just graduated with a degree in like computer game design. He's a dork [laughing]. He lives in the Bay Area, and he likes to get out, party, and play with computer games.

Who or what is currently inspiring you?
I really love this group Men. I like to take myself back to the past. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Ike and Tina Turner. I'm just all over the boards. I like watching strange movies. I liked An Education. Seems kind of boring, but I liked it. It really made me wonder about people's sincerity and what is truth.

Growing up in Washington, D.C. what were you like?
Chatty and curious is what I hear most. Either I was really, really quiet or I'd talk your ear off.

Was it difficult coming out as bisexual?
I'm lucky. I went to an arts high school. So, I was able to explore and be myself no matter what that path was at the time. It was hard for my parents, who are really sort of religious. I'm so excited for people now when you live in a progressive state that it's a little bit easier. After hearing about this Rutgers incident, I'm not mad at people. What I'd like to say to young people now is that there is nothing to be ashamed of. There's nothing you can do or be ashamed of to make someone want to take your life or for you to take yours. The world is built on diversity. It's what makes this planet interesting.

Does "bisexual" still describe you?
I've loved many different kinds of people. Maybe different races, maybe different genders. That may sound completely hippie and dippy and bullshit, but I have larger worries and concerns.

You once said you didn't want to be defined as a gay artist. Why?
It limits me artistically. I'm not ashamed of it at all. There's a lot more to me. I'm trying to be patient for a society where we're not so oversexed. I would be embarrassed to ask, 'Who are you fucking now?' I don't even know you, but we live in a society that we feel that kind of information is OK. I'm hoping to be a catalyst for change that way.

Tags: Out100 2010