Matt Jones/Rolling Stone Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe Comes Out as Queer

Janelle Monáe opens up about her sexuality in a cover story for Rolling Stone. Posing as a pop heroine on the cover, Monáe addresses the long-held rumors about her identity.

“Being a black queer woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women,” she says, “I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.”

Originally, she says, she identified as bisexual. “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,” she adds.

Monáe says her music didn’t hide her sexuality, exactly, with songs like “Mushrooms & Roses” and “Q.U.E.E.N.,” which was originally titled “Q.U.E.E.R.” “If you listen to my albums,” she adds, “it’s there.”

Now, she is gearing up to release her new album Dirty Computer, which she dedicates to many different groups of people. “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 explains. “This album is for you. Be proud.”

Featuring Pharrell Williams, Brian Wilson, and Zoë Kravitz, Dirty Computer arrives tonight. Following the LP, Monáe will embark on her “Dirty Computer Tour” from June 11 through Aug. 4.