Janelle Monae has opened up about her sexuality and revealed she identifies as "pansexual". She initially identified as bisexual, "but then later I read about pansexuality and I was like, 'Oh, these are things that I identify with, too.' I'm open to leaning more about myself".
There had been speculation about Monae's sexuality for some time, and it rose to a fever pitch thanks to the release of music videos for her songs "Make Me Feel" and "Pynk", both of which have explicitly queer overtones.
"If you listen to my albums, it's there", she said.
Over the past few months, Monáe has been romantically linked to actress Tessa Thompson, and to the dismay of some fans, that rumor wasn't clarified - though her coming out in general sparked love and support from those on Twitter.
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The music videos for the singles from Dirty Computer have celebrated being queer, and the album will feature an accompanying film where Tessa Thompson-who Monáe was after in the "Make Me Feel" video-plays one of the female "dirty computers" named "Mary Apple". "Q.U.E.E.N.", Monáe said in 2013, is an acronym "for those who are marginalized".
By publicly identifying herself as a queer black woman, Monáe knows she's in a unique position to speak to minority communities who don't easily have access to role models like herself. "That obsession was too much for me".
After a decade of lightly alluding to her queerness, often referring to herself as an android or a computer-not like the other girls, in so many words-it's been gratifying for Monae's fans to finally get to stand behind their fav and see her proud of her identity. She told Same Same in 2009, "Before I was actually successful I'd always said I've always dated boys and girls and anything in between".
"I thought I would dedicate today in the spirit of being visible to share my transition with all of you", the 27-year-old revealed.