Janelle Monae identifies as pansexual.
The singer and actress usually dodges questions about her sexuality but has dropped hints about her interest in both men and women in her music, such as recent single Make Me Feel, which was accompanied by a video in which she dances seductively with both.
Now, Janelle has opened up about the widely-speculated subject in an emotional interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
“Being a queer black woman in America,” she shared. “Someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-a*s motherf**ker.”
She explained she initially identified as bisexual but then realised she was pansexual, which encompasses an attraction towards someone regardless of their biological sex or gender identity.
“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,” she said.
The Hidden Figures actress admitted that although she hasn’t been open about her sexuality in interviews, it’s “there” in her music, pointing to older songs Mushrooms & Roses and Q.U.E.E.N., which was originally titled Q.U.E.E.R., in which she references a character named Mary as an object of affection.
Despite opening up about her personal life, the 32-year-old wouldn’t comment on rumours she’s dating Tessa Thompson, who appears in the Pynk and Make Me Feel music videos.
Referencing the latter, which has been hailed a bisexual anthem, she added: “If it makes people feel liberated in their skin and feel closer to who they are, then I think we did our job.”
She is also dedicating her album Dirty Computer, which is released on Friday (27Apr18), to anyone who is struggling to deal with their sexuality.
“I want young girls, young boys, non-binary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracised or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,” she said. “This album is for you. Be proud.”