I remember when I came out to my cousin and one of my best friends. I was super nervous and thought they would immediately shut their love off then run me out of town with sticks and torches (because apparently I lived in a medieval village in 1999). That didn’t happen. They both looked at me like “Meh.” And you know what, that’s what everyone’s coming out should be like because who gives a fuck? And in the tradition of 2018’s themes of “representation and visibility” Janelle Monae has finally put an end to the rumors of whether or not she likes to take a dip in the Lady Pond during an interview with Rolling Stone. Tessa Thompson’s grinding partner came out as the q (queer), p (pansexual) and f (free-ass motherfucker) in LGBTQPF.
Janelle’s latest release, Dirty Computer, is out tomorrow so she sat down with Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos to have a lengthy chat about her family, her music and the one thing she wanted to clear up immediately; her sexuality.
“Being a queer black woman in America,” she says, taking a breath as she comes out, “someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.” She initially identified as bisexual, she clarifies, “but then 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.”
Janelle also revealed how difficult it was for her to find her identity within the industry as well, which makes perfect sense because nowadays if you don’t have a Rapunzel-length weave and a couch cushion-sized ass, ain’t nobody checking for you.
Early in her career, Monáe was insecure about living up to impossible showbiz ideals; the persona, the androgynous outfits, the inflexible commitment to the storyline both on- and offstage, served in part as protective armor. “It had to do with the fear of being judged,” she says. “All I saw was that I was supposed to look a certain way coming into this industry, and I felt like I [didn’t] look like a stereotypical black female artist.”
Janelle also describes sexuality and family in the interview, and though it’s a long read it’s well worth the time. Janelle said in the interview that she has 50 cousins. I hope she just mass sends them all a link to this interview, because coming out to each one of them at a family reunion could take a while.
Pic: Rolling Stone