The goddess who walks among us in the shape of Janelle Monáe has ended speculation about her sexuality. The pop star/actor/activist/model/excellent human being has officially come out as queer in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying, “I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.”
Monáe opens up about her life and the realities of being a queer, black superstar in a very personal cover story with Rolling Stone:
“‘Being a queer black woman in America,’ she says, taking a breath as she comes out, ‘Someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.’ She initially identified as bisexual, she clarifies, ‘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.’”
She talks about her worries of not being what people expect from a black pop star, and how she even hid behind the mask of her alternate android persona, Cindi Mayweather. Monáe is ready to show the world her vulnerable, human face.
Janelle Monáe has not publicly spoken about her sexuality in the past (which she had every right to do), but she left enough of a trail of breadcrumbs for fans to guess she was queer. The original title for the song “Q.U.E.E.N.” was “Q.U.E.E.R.” and you can definitely hear “queer” in the background of the song. “Make Me Feel” was hailed as a bisexual anthem (probably because of the lighting), but we may need to change that to a panthem (as in, pan anthem).
Looking back at the "Make Me Feel Video," there are moments where the lighting alternates between pink and yellow. The pan flag is pink, yellow, and blue.
Monáe says Dirty Computer was a response to hearing members of her large, Baptist family say things like, “‘All gay people are going to hell.’”
"'I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,’ she says in a tone befitting the commander patch on her arm. ‘This album is for you. Be proud.’"
We are so happy Monáe has shared her identity with the world, and hope she will inspire pride everywhere. Also hoping she’ll confirm the rumors that the actress Tessa Thompson—who made multiple appearances in music videos for Dirty Computer—is her partner. Name a more iconic duo. We can’t wait to see what Janelle Monáe does next now that she’s out and proud.
Top image: Make Me Feel
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Anna Greer was an editorial intern spring 2018 and is a senior at the University of Tennessee, where she studies comics and human rights. When she is not engaged in feminist activism, she usually can be found wearing Doc Martens and looking at Star Wars prequel memes. Follow her @activistanna42