Janelle Monáe Comes Out As "A Queer Black Woman In America"
In a new interview, Janelle Monáe asserted Dirty Computer, her latest album, is for anyone struggling with their sexuality.
“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 says.
Monáe expressed that she had initially identified as bisexual, but reconsidered. “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.”
The singer has been coy and evasive when asked about her sexuality for the majority of her career.
The four singles and accompanying videos she’s released off her third full-length album, Dirty Computer, which drops Friday, include motifs on sexual liberation and exploration — the most overt reference being her video for the song “Pynk.” Her single “Make Me Feel” is a remix of Sylvester’s 1978 gay anthem, and the music video features actress Tessa Thompson, whom Monáe has been rumored to be dating.
The 45-minute “emotion picture” Dirty Computer, which premieres on MTV and BET today, extends that theme as Monáe is shown being intimate with both Thompson and a male actor. The singer premiered the film at a private screening at New York’s Lincoln Center Monday night.
“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 told Rolling Stone. “This album is for you. Be proud.”