“PYNK” singer and style icon Janelle Monae announced to the world that she is queer, specifically pansexual, in a new cover interview published Thursday withRolling Stone.
“Being a queer black woman in America,” Monae told RollingStone, “someone who has been in relationships with both men and women–I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.”
Monae added that she first identified as bisexual but now identifies as pansexual after reading about the term.
“I’m open to learning more about who I am,” she said.
Despite not coming out until Thursday morning, Monae has already left a huge queer legacy in her music and lyrics. Her recent songs and videos for “Make Me Feel” and “PYNK” celebrated her fluid sexuality while plenty of her songs from her previous albums, including The Archandroid and Electric Lady, were plenty queer in text and subtext.
Monae commented on the low-key queerness of her music in the Stone interview, as well.
“If you listen to my albums, it’s there,” she said, referencing “Mushrooms & Roses” and “Q.U.E.E.N.” Monae added that “Q.U.E.E.N.” was originally titled “Q.U.E.E.R.” and that the word can still be heard in the background vocals.
Monae wouldn’t discuss rumors of her relationship with actress Tessa Thompson, but she did dedicate the album to the LGBTQ community.
“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 says in a tone befitting the commander patch on her arm. “This album is for you. Be proud.”
Monae’s album Dirty Computer drops Friday and the accompanying visual film drops Thursday.
Props to being an out and visible black pansexual woman, Monae!