Janelle Monáe came out as non-binary during the latest episode of Red Table Talk with Jaida Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris.
The 36-year-old tweeted the hashtag “#IAmNonBinary” on 10 January 2020, though later clarified that this was “in support of Non-Binary Day and to bring more awareness to the community.”
“It resonated with me, especially as someone who has pushed boundaries of gender since the beginning of my career,” Monáe told The Cut at the time. “I feel my feminine energy, my masculine energy, and energy I can’t even explain.”
Now, during the season five premiere of Red Table Talk, the musician has further clarified how they identify.
“I’m non-binary, so I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she,’” they said. “And if I am from God, I am everything. I am everything. But I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything that I am. Beyond the binary.”
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi Mayweather👽🚆🤖🚀🪐 (@JanelleMonae) April 20, 2022
Monáe, who is yet to clarify which pronouns they use, also discussed what it was like to come from a “super conservative Baptist” background and described the coming out process as very personal to them.
“Somebody said, ‘If you don’t work out the things that you need to work out first before you share with the world, then you’ll be working it out with the world’,” they added.
“That’s what I didn’t want to do. So I thought I needed to have all my answers correct, I don’t want to say the wrong thing.
“And also I hadn’t had the necessary conversations with my family. I wasn’t ready to have my family question my personal life or get calls from people who still look at me as Little Pumpkin — that’s what they call me back home.”
Monáe has now spoken to her family and clarified that they have all been incredibly understanding of their identity.
“I needed to talk to my dad who was just great. My sister knew already because I’ve been in monogamous relationships, I’ve been in polyamorous relationships,” they explained. “But I knew that I couldn’t be Little Pumpkin. I couldn’t be little Janelle.”
The star’s appearance on Red Table Talk marks its first guest since the show’s hiatus came to an end.
It is also the first episode to be released since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, though due to the show being pre-taped, this was not discussed by the hosts.
You can watch Monáe’s full episode below or by clicking here.