Janelle Monáe comes out as queer
Janelle Monáe has come out as queer.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Monáe called herself “a queer black woman” who wasn’t sure if she was bisexual or pansexual, adding: “I’m open to learning more about who I am.”
The 32-year-old singer had previously shied away from revealing her sexuality, but a recent string of songs and music videos celebrating bi and lesbian people hinted at a growing comfort with her identity.
In February, Monáe released a bisexual anthem in the shape of “Make Me Feel” and a feminist track, “Django Jane,” in which she boasts that she “made a fandroid outta yo girlfriend.”
She then made lesbian sex front and centre in “PYNK,” a video which features women touching tongues and Monáe dressed in pussy pants, which Thor: Ragnarok actress and close friend Tessa Thompson emerges from with a wide grin.
In “PYNK,” the two stars gaze at each other seductively over a series of women’s bums, after the singer accepted Thompson’s seductive offering of a lollipop in “Make Me Feel.”
And now, Monáe – who also starred in 2016 Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures – has come out to the public, revealing a part of herself that her family and closest friends were already aware of.
“Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf**ker,” she said.
The star explained that she had identified as bisexual at first, “but then later I read about pansexuality and was like: ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’
“I’m open to learning more about who I am.”
After her debut album The ArchAndroid was released in 2010, she refuted questions about her sexuality, saying: “The lesbian community has tried to claim me, but I only date androids.
“Nothing like an android, they don’t cheat on you.”
She said that at that time, she was insecure about herself.
“It had to do with the fear of being judged,” she explained.
“All I saw was that I was supposed to look a certain way coming into this industry, and I felt like I [didn’t] look like a stereotypical black female artist.”
She also revealed that the original title of her hit 2013 song “Q.U.E.E.N.” was “Q.U.E.E.R.” – and that you can still hear “queer” being sung in the background.
The singer added that her new album Dirty Computer – which drops on April 27 – was dedicated to LGBT people.
“I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracised or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,” she said.
“This album is for you. Be proud.”
She said it was also a reaction to her homophobic relatives.
“A lot of this album,” she said, “is a reaction to the sting of what it means to hear people in my family say: ‘All gay people are going to hell.'”