Janelle Monáe Comes Out in Rolling Stone Interview

Janelle Monáe. Photo: JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP/Getty Images/This content is subject to copyright.

Singer Janelle Monáe came out in a new interview with Rolling Stone, published today. The singer’s sexuality has long been a source of speculation, especially regarding her relationship with actress Tessa Thompson. She told the magazine she has been in relationships with men and women, and identifies with aspects of pansexuality and bisexuality. “I’m open to learning more about who I am,” she said. Per 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.”

Monáe said her public persona — the androgynous space cadet whose response to dating questions was, “I only date androids” — was a protective mechanism because she “felt like I [didn’t] look like a stereotypical black female artist.”

She confirmed that she often dropped hints about her sexuality in her music, specifically the songs “Mushrooms & Roses,” and “Q.U.E.E.N.” The latter’s original name was “Q.U.E.E.R.”

Monáe didn’t discuss her dating life or address the rumors about Thompson. She did, however, give this powerful quote for others in the LGBTQ community:

“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.”

Janelle Monáe Comes Out in Rolling Stone Interview