This season of Hollywood Exes has been a roller coaster for Drea Kelly who has been planning her wedding with aspiring singer Brian McKee all season. Since filming ended, Drea has announced that she and Brian are getting divorced. On top of relationship troubles, Drea’s child with R.Kelly, Jay, recently came out as trans to a good deal of media attention. We caught up with the reality star to see what life has been like since the show ended and what’s really up with her home life.
The finale of Hollywood Exes this season is centered around your wedding but you’ve since announced that you are getting divorced. Are you planning on watching or will that be too hard?
Drea: Oh gosh, yes! You know what, I’m proud. And I know that seems odd to say like, girl what? But I am proud because I really do think that I am a living example for women. Life goes on, honey. You cannot crawl up under a rock and go “I’m done with life.” Because guess what, it’s still gonna happen. You’re still gonna have to face it.
What is the exact state of your relationship with Brian right now? Is there any chance of a reconciliation?
I’m just waiting for my divorce to be final. I’m not the type of girl – I think because I’ve been through so much with my first husband – that I just have no room for BS. Some women, it might take you three, four, five times for you to be cheated on for you to get it. When you become 40, there are just certain things you don’t have room for in your life. It’s nothing against Brian. What we had was real but it’s time to move on. If it’s meant to be, if we are meant to come back together at a later date, only God knows. I can only answer for today and where I am right now.
It was discovered that Brian was having an affair and women were coming forward to you via Twitter. You managed to stay so positive and I just kept reading tweets where you were like, “Girl Power.” How did you keep such a optimistic outlook, at least publicly?
[Laughs] For some reason, we have been brainwashed and taught that you attack the other woman. If something happens it’s “definitely the woman’s fault” and “women can’t get along” and all we do is fight. Everything that was happening on social media – was it hurtful? Yes. Was it embarrassing? Most definitely. But is it life? Yes. Just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t mean that life doesn’t happen. I knew that I had a choice to make [to stay positive] and it was an easy one to make.
This past June your 14-year-old son Jay came out as a transgender boy on his Ask.fm page. How is your family adjusting to that? Are there any misconceptions you’d like to clear up?
All I can say about Jay is he makes it so easy to be a proud mom. For parents, we need to realize, [our kids] have their own journey. Parents get it wrong when they don’t support their children. They have to go out and fight every day and face this world. The first battle should not be at home. I think that a lot of children in the LGBT community don’t succeed because the one thing they need the most is foundation. I just tell Jay all the time, baby you won the war. You’re gonna have a lot of battles but you won the war. Mama accepts and loves you for who you are. Your family does. My dad is a retired military naval officer and all he said was, “I’m gonna mess up sometimes and [use the feminine pronoun] ’she’ but I’m gonna eventually get the ’he’ thing. Just give grandpa some time. I’m gonna get it dude.” That was it.
It’s pretty remarkable for a 14-year-old to be so open publicly. I mean that takes some courage.
It’s like Jay; you don’t understand that you’re changing people’s lives just by being courageous. The kid is so courageous. She has…and see, there I go [using the wrong pronoun]. It’s a learning experience. It really is. It’s something we smile about. When I make that mistake I’m like, “Girl, you got a son, honey, get it together. Get it right.” [Laughs]
Being R.Kelly’s and your child, there has been a lot of attention surrounding Jay coming out as trans. Was that surprising to your family?
You know it took a minute for that to click in my head. Then I have to stop and come back and say, in the urban community this is like a first. [For my family] this isn’t this shocking thing. I need [people], especially in the black community, to stop burying their heads in the sand. Let’s quit playing that game that you just chose to be gay or trans. What we choose every day is what we wear. We need to stop worrying about people’s gender and sexuality and think about the choices we’re making with our youth, period. That’s what we need to focus on in my community
Drea, how are you going to make me cry at my office? Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today!
[Laughs] I am so sorry! But you know what? That’s just my truth! Like that’s my baby! And when you’re a mom, a mother’s love is like that of God. You can’t do anything to earn it, you never do anything to lose it and it’s never gonna change. I don’t care what you do! My kid is here, healthy, loving, kind, God-fearing. Like, what is there not to celebrate! Are you kidding me?