Tomorrow, Janelle Monáe will release her much-anticipated new album Dirty Computer. That’s a big deal, and it’s the reason that Monáe is the subject of a new Rolling Stone cover story. But Monáe doesn’t just talk about the album in that interview. She also reveals something profound about herself.
Speaking to Rolling Stone writer Brittany Spanos, Monáe says this: “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 also says that she first identified as bisexual, but then she found another way to identify herself: “Later, 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.”
Monáe has hinted at this pansexuality in videos for Dirty Computer tracks like “Make Me Feel” and “PYNK.” She has thus far declined to comment on her rumored relationship with the movie star Tessa Thompson, who appears in both of those videos.
In the same Rolling Stone story, Monáe speaks a bit about the androgynous image that she adapted early in her career and mentions that she’s hinted at her sexuality on past records: “If you listen to my albums, it’s there.” And she says that she hopes Dirty Computer can serve as a beacon for kids on different parts of the sexuality spectrum: “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. This album is for you. Be proud.”
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