Janelle Monáe has given an empowering speech to her communities Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year event.
And in her acceptance speech for the award, Monáe spoke her life. Starting with her early life, the singer said: “I am one of 50 grandchildren.
“‘I have 50 first cousins — I know all of their names. It’s hell getting them into a concert, everybody wants free tickets. But what growing up in that big family taught me was responsibility. Community. And to protect each other.
“‘I had no choice: I had to wash dishes, babysit my cousins. My grandmother was raising all of us. I had to contribute.”
Monáe then spoke about how this affected her in the music industry, and how she treats other people. “I’ve taken that same mentality with me in the entertainment industry,” she said.
“I feel a huge responsibility to protect my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQIA+ community, to protect women, to protect black folks, to protect immigrants, to protect lower class folks like my parents who put on uniforms to protect me and my sister.
“I feel a responsibility to protect all the dirty computers around the world: We’re pushed to the margins of society.”
She then lashed out at Donald Trump, saying: “‘I feel a greater responsibility as an artist, but I am a young, black, queer woman in America. I am not afraid to piss off the power.
“We can do this together. I am not afraid to piss off the abuser of power in chief who reminds us daily that the freedom we have is not free — we have to fight for it. I’d like to close by saying: I come in peace, but I mean business.”
Earlier this year, Janelle came out as pansexual, saying: “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.” And alongside her music career, she has also landed a role in the upcoming biopic of the abolitionist and political activist, Harriet Tubman.