“I wouldn’t consider myself bisexual because I’ve dated more than just men and women.”
Paris Jackson is opening up about her private life like never before in the new Facebook Watch series, “Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn.”
Costarring her boyfriend/The Soundflowers bandmate, the show — which premiered Tuesday — promises to give fans an inside look at Jackson’s unique family, love life and aspirations to make it in the music industry outside of her famous father, Michael Jackson’s, shadow.
Right off the top, the debut episode — titled “Who Is Paris Jackson?” — shows the 22-year-old opening up about her father’s death and the legacy he leaves behind.
“It’s been 11 years and I’ve been through hell, whether it’s him passing or all the shit that’s happened to me in my life,” she said. “If I don’t talk about it or if I don’t put it in the music, it’s going to completely ruin my life and it’s going to own me and I’ll be a slave to that kind of pain and torment and I don’t want that.”
“Everyone in my family does music,” she added. “I’m a Jackson, it makes sense I’m a musician but like…a Jackson doing folk indie?”
Paris’ cousin TJ Jackson and brother Prince both give some insight into Paris’ earlier years as well and how growing up as the daughter of Michael Jackson affected her in the long run.
“When my uncle found out he was having Paris, he was on Cloud 9,” recalled TJ. “He spoiled her, he just loves his princess. Something I still struggle with is she lost her dad and I don’t think you could have gotten a more loving and dedicated father. From birth, to the day she’s a grandparent, my uncle would have been there every step of the way trying to do his best to make her as strong and happy as possible. To lose that is hard for me.”
Added Prince — who, like Paris, spent much of his childhood touring alongside his father and wearing masks to hide their faces most of the time — “Growing up I think is difficult for everybody, especially when you have unique circumstances around your childhood and your upbringing.”
“I feel like she has come a long way and she’s learned a lot and how to carry herself,” he said of his sister. “When I get to see my sister sing, I’m very proud in a way because I’ve seen where she came from and everything she had to deal with when she was growing up and singing has been an outlet for her.”
Getting more specific about some of the difficult things she’s faced, Paris opened up about her sexuality and how her family initially reacted when she started exploring it.
“Never thought I’d end up with a dude,” said Jackson, who is now dating one. “Thought I’d end up marrying a chick or … I’ve dated more women than men. Been with more chicks. The public only knows about 3 long term relationships I’ve been with and they’ve been with men. The public doesn’t know about like most of the relationships I’ve been in.”
“I say I’m gay because I guess I am, but I wouldn’t consider myself bisexual because I’ve dated more than just men and women, I’ve dated a man that had a vagina,” she added. “It has nothing to do what’s in your pants, it’s literally like, what are you like as a person?”
Jackson said she first started feeling “conflicted” about her sexuality at a young age, when her feelings didn’t line up with the heterosexual couples she’d see on the television. She added that her father “caught on quick.”
“I think he felt the energy and he would tease me the same way he’d tease my brothers, like, ‘You got yourself a girlfriend!’ if I were staring at a magazine of a woman too hard,” she revealed. “I’m very lucky to have that, especially so young, 8 or 9. Not many children have that experience.”
Things changed when she moved in with her grandmother, Katherine Jackson, following her dad’s death. “Homosexuality in general is very taboo in the Black community,” she explained, saying that, paired with Katherine’s Jehovah’s Witness background, made her feel like she had something she needed to hide.
“The first time I came out to a family member, they didn’t believe me,” said Paris, showing appreciation to Prince for joining a gay-straight alliance the first time she “went off to treatment” after initially coming out. “He said he just wants to learn more about it, have a better understanding of it,” she recalled, “I’m lucky to have that as well.”
The rest of the episode showed her relationship with Gabe, who she met 2 years ago and clicked with instantly. “The only home I ever had before was my dad. Now I have Gabe, I’m very lucky,” she explained.
She was seen bringing him to a few Hollywood events and introducing him to some of her father’s former collaborators, like Kenny Ortega and Travis Payne — who both worked on the “This Is It” tour.
“I never realized how much she was really around at that age, how much she was involved in the day to day,” said Gabe, upon seeing her interact with those two like old friends. “She was really by his side as much as he could keep her.”
The episode ended with a preview for the rest of the reason, teasing Jackson opening up about her many insecurities and suicide attempts. “Yes, I tried to kill myself many times,” she said in the footage.
New episodes of “Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn” drop every Tuesday at 3am PT on Facebook Watch.