Singer, actress and activist Janelle Monáe has come out as pansexual. Monáe, a singer who also starred in films like "Moonlight" and "Hidden Figures," initially identified as bisexual, but in a new interview with Rolling Stone, she says now that she is pansexual, which includes people of any sex or gender identity.
Monáe said she wanted to address the rumors about her sexuality.
"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-a** motherf**ker," she said.
She continued, "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."
Monáe, who previously dodged questions about her sexuality by saying lines like "I only date androids," said she has always put out that she is queer in her music. She revealed that the original title of "Q.U.E.E.N." was "Q.U.E.E.R.," and you can still hear the word on the track's background harmonies. She pointed out that "Q.U.E.E.N." and "Mushrooms & Roses" reference a love interest named Mary. In a music film that accompanies Monáe's new album "Dirty Computer," character "Mary Apple" is played by Tessa Thompson, who is rumored to be Monáe's girlfriend, though Monáe did not confirm the relationship.
Monáe said her new album is dedicated to LGBTQ people struggling with their identity.
"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 said. "This album is for you. Be proud."