Grammy nominated singer Janelle Monáe, who previously came out as pansexual in a 2018 Rolling Stone cover story, has recently announced that she identifies as non-binary.
Janelle Monáe comes out as non-binary – “I just don’t see myself as a qoman, solely”
According to Variety, Monáe announced on the April 20 episode of Red Table Talk that she is non-binary. The singer-actor said at the time that she originally identified as bisexual but “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.”
Pansexuality is an attraction to people regardless of their gender or sex. “I’m nonbinary, so I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely,” Monáe said. “I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she.’ If I am from God, I am everything. I am everything, but I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything beyond the binary,” she added.
Monáe added that she sees the energy of people over their gender or sex. “When I see people, I see your energy first. I don’t see how you identify. And I feel like that opens you up to fall in love with any beautiful spirit.” The show co-host Willow Smith then asked Monáe what prepared her to come out publicly. “Well, you know, somebody said, ‘If you don’t work out the things that you need to work out first, before you share with the world, then you’ll be working it out with the world,’” she explained. “That’s what I didn’t want to do. So I thought I needed to have all my answers correct. I don’t want to say the wrong thing, and also, I hadn’t had the necessary conversations with my family. I wasn’t ready to have my family question my personal life.”
Previously, Monáe first brought attention to being non-binary when she tweeted out in 2020 a “Steven Universe” meme that read, “I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I’m an experience.” Monáe also admitted that she is still exploring the topic of gender identity as it pertains to her personally, “I said, ‘Fuck yes! That’s me…’ I’m exploring, you know? I’m so open to what the universe is teaching me, and teaching all of us about gender. I definitely don’t live my life in a binary way. I’ve always pushed, as you can see from the way that I dress to the things that I’ve said since the beginning of my career. I have fought against gender norms and what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a man.”
During a January 2020 interview for her performance in Amazon’s Homecoming season 2, Monáe spoke about living life with a non-binary perspective and shared, “I’ve always tried to get rid of all of those things — any labels — and work on my journey, wherever that may be. I do feel like I am an experience, I am on self-discovery, and I just want to continue to show love to everyone who continues to live outside of the binary.” In a 2018 Rolling Stone interview, Monáe officially came out as bisexual, before learning about pansexuality. “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 said. “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.”
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