Janelle Monae comes out as 'pansexual'


Janelle Monáe is embracing her sexuality.

The "I Like That" singer covers the latest issue Rolling Stone, on newsstands May 4, and formally comes out as "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-a** motherf**ker," she tells the magazine.

While Monáe, 32, initially identified as bisexual -- being attracted to both males and females -- she eventually settled on the seemingly more inclusive pansexual, which encompasses an attraction towards someone regardless of their sex or gender identity.

"Later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with, too,’" she shares. "I’m open to learning more about who I am.”

While she tended to dodge any questions regarding her sexuality, she often spoke on the subject through her music.

“If you listen to my albums, it’s there,” the musician says.

Earlier singles “Mushrooms & Roses” and “Q.U.E.E.N.” both reference a character named Mary as an object of affection. Mary, played by actress Tessa Thompson, makes a return in the 44-minute "emotion picture" that accompanies Monáe's third studio album, Dirty Computer, out Friday.

The singer-rapper adds that the original title of "Q.U.E.E.N.," off her second record, was actually "Q.U.E.E.R," a word which listeners can still make out on the song's background harmonies.

Thompson, who has been linked to Monáe romantically, has been a recurring face in recent Dirty Computer music videos, including "Make Me Feel" and "Pynk."

"Janelle and I have been really close. We've been really good friends at this point for about three and a half years," the Thor: Ragnarok star told ET in February. "I'm so lucky to have her in my life. I met her in an audition!"

The 34-year-old actress added that some consider "Make Me Feel" to be a "bisexual anthem."

"If it makes people feel liberated in their skin and feel closer to who they are, then I think we did our job," she said of the song and video.

As for her newest album, Monáe tells Rolling Stone that she dedicates it to anyone who is "having a hard time dealing 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."