Janelle Monae has never been one to share her personal life with the world. Her musical career, up until the release of her newest album, Dirty Computer, has seen her casting herself as a character, a stylish android straight out of an old black-and-white sci-fi movie, and this alter ego has always served to obscure her personal identity.
But with her newest release, Monae has decided to focus her theatrics on her personal experiences and feelings. And now that she’s opening up, it seems she’s finally ready to share with the world more about who she really is.
Speculations about Monae’s sexuality are nothing new, but in the past, she has always declined to comment on her sexual orientation. However, when she released the video for her song “PYNK” a few weeks ago, it became clear that she was pushing her own boundaries. The video was loaded with queer and woman-centric imagery, and showed Monae getting cozy with Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok).
But in case there was still any doubt, Monae confirmed her sexuality in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
Like everything Monae does, her coming out statement was bold, unapologetic, and badass. “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 mother——”
Monae said she had initially considered herself bisexual, but when she became familiar with the concept of pansexuality, she found it fit with what she felt about herself. “…I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too,’” Monae told Rolling Stone. “I’m open to learning more about who I am.”
Since her announcement, the queer community has been quick to embrace her, while everyone else has run to look up what “pansexual” means (it’s about being attracted to all gender identities and expressions, FYI).
📈 'Pansexual' is our top search today. 👑https://t.co/DJ8gUex3qs
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 26, 2018
📈 'Pansexual' is still on top and your joke about cookware is still hack.https://t.co/DJ8gUex3qs
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 27, 2018
As for rumours that she and Tessa Thompson are romantically involved IRL, Monae has remained silent. Apparently, there are some things she still prefers to keep hidden.