Janelle Monáe has come out as a member of the queer community.
The multi-talented singer, producer, actress and model has long-hinted at her sexuality through her music, even more so on recent tracks Make Me Feel and Pynk, but now she’s confirmed it for the first time in an interview with Rolling Stone.
“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 motherfucker,” she said.
While she explains that she initially identified as bisexual, she says she now aligns more with pansexuality.
“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 continued.
Although this may be the first time she’s confirmed her sexuality during an interview, Janelle reiterated that she’s been singing about it in her music for years, citing her tracks Q.U.E.E.N. and Mushrooms & Roses as two examples of this.
“If you listen to my albums, it’s there,” she explained. And it seems that those themes will be even more prominent on her new album, which she says is dedicated to the LGBTQ community and anyone who feels different.
“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 added.
“This album is for you. Be proud.”
Janelle also spoke about her ‘android’ persona that she’s embodied on much of her work.
“It had to do with the fear of being judged,” she explained. “All I saw was that I was supposed to look a certain way coming into this industry, and I felt like I [didn’t] look like a stereotypical black female artist.”
Janelle Monáe’s new album Dirty Computer is released Friday 27 April.