In case you hadn’t picked up what Janelle Monae has been dropping with her new music videos — she gets hot and heavy with rumored IRL girlfriend Tessa Thompson in Make Me Feel and literally celebrates the vagina in PYNK — she’s making it crystal clear today.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the singer-songwriter-actress-goddess is coming out of the closet!
“Being a queer black woman in America [takes deep breath], someone who has been in relationships with both men and women ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.”
She even explained she had assumed she was bisexual “but then later I read about pansexuality and was like, ├óΓé¼╦£Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.”
Monae says she was hiding behind the androgynous android persona, but the real woman was always beneath if you looked close. She reveals:
“If you listen to my albums, it’s there.”
Specifically, she says the song Q.U.E.E.N. was originally titled Q.U.E.E.R., and though the title changed, you can still hear it in the background harmonies.
And of course, the new stuff is really spelling it out.
Monae says she still has not come out to her large, devout Baptist family back home in Kansas City:
“I literally do not have time to hold a town-hall meeting with my big-ass family and be like, ├óΓé¼╦£Hey, news flash!'”
But that’s coming too — it may even have happened before the release of the article!
“There are people in my life that love me and they have questions, and I guess when I get there, I’ll have to answer those questions.”
Monae also confirms her new album, Dirty Computer, is indeed all about her sexuality:
“A lot of this album is a reaction to the sting of what it means to hear people in my family say, ├óΓé¼╦£All gay people are going to hell.'”
As you might imagine, it was never worse for “a queer black woman in America” than the night Donald Trump was elected president.
Barack Obama loves her music and invited her to play on the White House lawn. This was… different:
“For the first time, I felt scared.
I felt like ‘if I wake up tomorrow, are people going to feel they have the right to just, like, kill me now?'”
As both a musician and an actress, Janelle is picking projects with a mind toward helping people empathize with those they don’t understand, like the excellent Hidden Figures and Moonlight which competed for the same Oscars in 2017.
“The conversations might not happen with people in the position of power, but they can happen through a movie, they can happen through a song, they can happen through an album, they can happen through a speech on TV. Most of them will probably turn off their TVs, but…”
Dirty Computer is meant to be another big step forward. She says:
“Through my experiences, I hope people are seen and heard. I may make some mistakes. I may have to learn on the go, but I’m open to this journey.
I need to go through this. We need to go through this. Together. I’m going to make you empathize with dirty computers all around the world.”
We don’t know about you, but this is making us feel!
Go, Miss Monae!
[Image via Apega/WENN.]