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."

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Janelle Monae out and about
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Janelle Monae out and about

Janelle Monae sits down for an interview at Samsung 837 before she performed a selection of hits as part of the Galaxy Note9 retail launch celebration.

(Credit: Samsung)

BROOKLYN, NY - AUGUST 26: Janelle Monae at Commodore Barry Park on August 26, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: Janelle Monae performs on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on August 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: Janelle Monae talks on stage on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on August 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Janelle Monae performs during the 2018 Outside Lands Music and Arts festval at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Janelle Monae performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2018 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 19: Janelle Monae is seen on July 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Janelle Monae performs at the Greek Theatre on June 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 26: Singer/songwriter Janelle Monae performs during her Dirty Computer Tour at The Pearl concert theater at Palms Casino Resort on June 26, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 24: Janelle Monae arrives to the 2018 BET Awards held at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 24: Janelle Monae attends the 2018 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE) Janelle Monae backstage at the 2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango by AT&T at Banc of California Stadium on June 2, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE) Janelle Monae performs onstage during the 2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango by AT&T at Banc of California Stadium on June 2, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia )
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Janelle Monae attends the Balmain after party at Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel at on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by TheStewartofNY/GC Images)
Janelle Monae arrives for the 2018 Met Gala on May 7, 2018, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. - The Gala raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute. The Gala's 2018 theme is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. (Photo by Angela WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Janelle Monae attends the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Janelle Monae attends the Janelle Monae 'Dirty Computer' Album Release Party at Le Bain on May 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Recording artist/ actress Janelle Monae attends the 'Dirty Computer' screening at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theatre on April 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Atlantic Records)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Recording artist/ actress Janelle Monae attends the 'Dirty Computer' screening at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theatre on April 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Atlantic Records)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Janelle Monae visits the SiriusXM Studios on April 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 04: Belvedere Ambassador Janelle Monae attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Journalist Elaine Welteroth, Actors Yvonne Orji, Janelle Monae and Jay Ellis attend as Janelle Monae and Belvedere Vodka kick-off 'A Beautiful Future' Campaign with Fem the Future Brunch at Catch LA on March 2, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Belvedere Vodka)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Fashion Blogger Diana Madison and Janelle Monae attend as Janelle Monae and Belvedere Vodka kick-off 'A Beautiful Future' Campaign with Fem the Future Brunch at Catch LA on March 2, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Belvedere Vodka)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Janelle Monae attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: Recording artist Janelle Monae attends the 2018 Warner Music Group Pre- Grammy Celebration at The Grill & The Pool Restaurants on January 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 06: Janelle Monae attends Refinery29 29Rooms Los Angeles: Turn It Into Art at ROW DTLA on December 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Janelle Monae, Lisa Joy and Tessa Thompson attend the HBO's Official 2017 Emmy After Party at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Tessa Thompson and Janelle Monae attend the HBO's Official 2017 Emmy After Party at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Janelle Monae speaks onstage during the 21st Annual Hollywood Film Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 21: Janelle Monae attends Marie Claire's Fresh Faces event at Doheny Room on April 21, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actress Janelle Monae attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
THE OSCARS(r) - The 89th Oscars(r) broadcasts live on Oscar(r) SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2017, on the ABC Television Network. (Tyler Golden/ABC via Getty Images) JANELLE MONAE
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 25: (L-R) Actors Kerry Washington and Janelle Monae attend the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 25, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Pharrell Williams and honoree Janelle Monae poses with the 'Breakthrough Award' at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 23, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Essence)
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