Photography by Janette Beckman
Detroit-bred and New York-based, hip-hop artist Angel Haze went through what she calls "a lot of different phases." thinking she was a lesbian, and then bisexual, before she had a revelation:
"Sexuality is like having a favorite color. It doesn't rule you, you know? And I should be able to do whatever and whoever I want at any given time." It was a freeing moment. "And then I realized I was attracted to transgender people and people who classify themselves as 'other.' It didn't change anything about how I looked at life. There was no brand-new, kaleidoscopic view of everything: 'Holy fuck! I like a transgender person. God is real.' No. It was one part of me that just evolved."
Born Raykeea Angel Wilson, 23-year-old Haze debuted her first album, titled Dirty Gold, by leaking it to fans in December 2013, before it was finally released at the end of the year to favorable reviews. She's currently dating model Ireland Baldwin. Raised in the Pentecostal faith, she didn't have an easy time of it growing up, and it may be one reason she has decided to be so open about her personal life, and the way it can help others.
"I'm an avid Tumblr user, and sometimes I see myself on my dashboard," she told Out. "People talking about me, like, 'I'm glad there's an actual woman of color representing queerness and pansexuality, someone who is like me in the spotlight.' You don't want to have so many goddamned people who are exactly the same that people who are inherently different aren't connected to anything."
VOTE for 2014 Out100 Readers' Choice Award Winner. Presented by Buick.