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Janelle monae cover story rolling stone 2018 40f2968e 20e6 4009 88a1 c1d4c1c8371e
Janelle Monaé
Photo Credit: Matt Jones for Rolling Stone

Janelle Monáe Comes Out As "A Queer Black Woman In America"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. Source: Instagram

In a new interview, Janelle Monáe asserted Dirty Computer, her latest album, is for anyone struggling with their sexuality.

Janelle Monáe opened up about her sexuality for the first time publicly in an interview for Rolling Stone's May cover story.

“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."

WATCHJanelle Monáe and Lupita Nyong’o Dance to "Make Me Feel"

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.

READ: Janelle Monáe Discusses ‘Dirty Computer’ And Prince Being Her Mentor In New Interview

“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.”