After rumors began swirling about a suspected relationship between Janelle Monae and her friend and frequent collaborator Tessa Thompson, the Dirty Computer artist is now stepping in to set the record straight about her sexuality. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the singer confirmed that she is pansexual.
“Being a black queer woman in America … someone who has been in relationships with both men and women — I consider myself to be a free-** motherf**ker,” she told the publication in a feature story published on Apr. 26.
While Monae admitted that she is still learning about her sexuality, she stated that pansexual is what she is most comfortable with at the moment. “Later I read about pansexuality and I was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about myself,” she added. For those who are unfamiliar, pansexual is a sexual identity that is not governed or limited with regard to biology, gender, or gender identity. In other words, it is based on a sexual, romantic or emotional attraction to people regardless of their sex or gender identity.
The singer’s sexual orientation has been the source of much confusion throughout her career. As previously noted, many fans speculated she was in a secret relationship with Tessa Thompson shortly after the release of the music video for her fan-certified “bisexual anthem,” “Make Me Feel” in Feb. 2018. Before that, Monae’s 2013 interview with Pride Source also raised a few eyebrows. “I just live my life, and people can feel free to discuss whatever it is that they think and use whatever adjectives they feel. It’s a free country,” she said at the time.
Despite fan confusion, Monae says the answers about her sexuality have always been in hr music. She cited single like “Mushrooms & Roses” and “Q.U.E.E.N.” as tracks that discuss the romantic love she holds for a woman named Mary. The singer also confirmed that her conversation about sexual orientation will continue with her upcoming album, Dirty Computer. “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 ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,” she told Rolling Stone. “This album is for you. Be proud.”
Dirty Computer debuts on Friday, Apr. 27.