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Alicia Keys In Concert At Palais Des Congres

Source: David Wolff – Patrick / Getty

In case you’ve been sitting around for the past 15 years or so trying to figure out WHY Alicia Keys seemed so hard back in the 90s, she’s cleared it up. She wants you to know that she wasn’t gay, she was simply hiding her curves and femininity so that she wouldn’t gain unwanted attention from men.

The singer took to her website yesterday to clear up the rumors about her sexuality and explain why she used to dress the way she did.

Keys wrote:

“It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an example. I remember feeling like my friends would make fun of me or look at me as if I was different from them, and so … I started hiding.”

She didn’t really care for the attention she got for her body. And that’s why, she says, she wore braids and baggy jeans and dressed like a “tomboy” early on in her career.

“I started to notice a drastic difference in how men would relate to me if I had on jeans, or if I had on a skirt, or if my hair was done pretty. I could tell the difference, I could feel the animal instinct in them, and it scared me. I didn’t want to be talked to in that way, looked at in that way, whistled after, followed. And so I started hiding. I chose the baggy jeans and timbs, I chose the ponytail and hat, I chose no makeup, no bright color lipstick or pretty dresses. I chose to hide. Pieces at a time. Less trouble that way.”

“I had the baggy/braided/tough NY tomboy thing mastered, that was who I was (or who I chose to be) and I felt good there. Then, because of the way I spoke or carried myself, people started calling me gay and hard and I wasn’t gay, but I was hard and although I felt comfortable there, it made me uncomfortable that people were judging me and so slowly I hid that side of myself,” she says. “I put on dresses and didn’t braid my whole head up, so people could see more of the ‘real’ me, even though at that point I’m sure I was more confused then ever of what the real me was.”