Hayley Kiyoko took a long time to embrace her Asian heritage.
Speaking to People, the 30-year-old singer-songwriter got candid about her biracial identity and how it played into her struggle with her sexuality.
“Growing up biracial – my mom’s Japanese Canadian and my dad’s Caucasian – it took a long time for me to really connect and embrace my Asian heritage,” the What I Need hitmaker began.
“I was never white enough, I was never Asian enough, but I also was never straight enough. For most of my adolescence, my sexuality kind of took over my struggle with fitting into society. Then as I was able to learn and accept myself, later in life, I started to unpack my culture and my roots.”
Kiyoko, who identifies as a lesbian, said that she “didn’t really have the space” to explore her heritage when she was young, but is grateful to have been able to as an adult.
The Found My Friends singer also praised seeing more Asian-American artists emerging into the mainstream spotlight, including Olivia Rodrigo and Saweetie.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted,” she said, noting that she looked up to Asian-American musicians like Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs when she was young. “Especially growing up, all I’ve ever wanted was to have people I could look up to that look like me, that I could connect to, and so I think it’s so incredible to see so many artists getting mainstream support and fix that.”