Janelle Monae is confirming long-standing rumours about her sexuality in a new interview with Rolling Stone, telling the magazine she identifies as a queer woman.
“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-a$$ motherf***er,” she says.
The singer admits she previously identified as bisexual but later “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.”
Monae has dodged inquiries about her sexuality and let questions about her rumoured relationships with women, including “Thor: Ragnarok” actress Tessa Thompson, go unanswered. Fans have long wondered whether she identified as part of the LGBTQ community, pointing to imagery in her music videos and song lyrics.
Monae, whose latest album Dirty Computer is due out tomorrow, points to songs like “Q.U.E.E.N.” and “Mushrooms & Roses”, saying that clues to her sexuality were already there, she really hadn’t been hiding anything from fans.
“If you listen to my albums it’s there,” the singer says, adding that the song “Q.U.E.E.N.” was originally titled “Q.U.E.E.R.”
For Monae, 32, she wants her new album and who she is to be seen as an anthem for people who are having difficulties coming to terms with their own sexuality.
“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,” Monae says. “This album is for you. Be proud.”
Watch the video for her single “PYNK” off of her new album.