Janelle Monaé’s musical mentor Prince once wrote a lyric: “I’m not a woman / I’m not a man / I’m something that you’ll never understand.” And Monaé has been following in his high-heeled footsteps, flowing from androgynous three-piece suits on the red carpet to cheeky high-femme pink vagina pants in her recent “Pynk” video. Stubbornly accompanying these fluid gender performances have been rumors of Monaé’s bisexuality, which she’s winked at in her lyrics and videos—particularly in the buildup to the release of her new album, Dirty Computer—but never addressed publicly.
That is, until an interview with Monaé published today in Rolling Stone. In the opening of an extended profile, Monaé tells writer Brittany Spanos:
“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.”
So there you have it: “Free-ass motherfucker.” Feel free to update your dating profiles accordingly. Monaé declined to elaborate on her dating life, but says that Dirty Computer is a statement not only of her own liberation, but of more general support for anyone struggling with their sexuality: “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. “This album is for you. Be proud.”
Dirty Computer is out tomorrow.