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Janelle Monáe comes out as queer

Josh Jackman April 26, 2018
(Cindy Ord/Getty)

(Cindy Ord/Getty)

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.

(Janelle Monáe/YouTube)

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.”

(Janelle Monáe/YouTube)

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.’

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Recording artist/ actress Janelle Monae attends the "Dirty Computer" screening at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theatre on April 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Atlantic Records)
(Cindy Ord/Getty)

“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.

(Janelle Monáe/YouTube)

“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.

WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Tessa Thompson (L) and Janelle Monae attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Annihilation' at Regency Village Theatre on February 13, 2018 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
(Emma McIntyre/Getty)

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.”

(Janelle Monáe/YouTube)

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.'”

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