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Janelle Monae Finally Explained Why She Tweeted #IAmNonBinary

Janelle Monáe on stage at the Grammys.

The new comments came in a cover story for 'The Cut.'

MikelleStreet

Janelle Monae is particular about the words she uses. That's something Roxane Gay pointed out in the profile of the artist that appears in New York Magazine this month -- the feature is the cover of The Cut's section. And it's something that even a casual fan of Monae's work is familiar with. So, there was one word that Gay felt the need to ask about: nonbinary.

Last month, Monae tweeted the hashtag "I Am Nonbinary." The post came as a part of a daylong trending topic on TWitter where various participants used the hashtag for visibility, representation, and education. But Monae's usage had very little context. It was written above a clip of Stevonnie from Steven Universe, wringing and tossing their hair. "Are you a boy or a girl?" the text asked. "I am an experience," it answered. Stevonnie is a nonbinary character on the show.

"I tweeted the #IAmNonbinary hashtag in support of Nonbinary Day and to bring more awareness to the community," Monae told The Cut. "I retweeted the Steven Universe meme 'Are you a boy or a girl? I'm an experience' because it resonated with me, especially as someone who has pushed boundaries of gender since the beginning of my career. I feel my feminine energy, my masculine energy, and energy I can't even explain."

Hm. Does that clear things up for anyone? But also does it matter?

There was something else Gay wanted to know though; Monae notably came out as pansexual in 2018, and since there's been much speculation as to if and who she's been dating.

"I don't talk about the folks I'm dating," Monae told the magazine.

Well, that's that on that.

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Mikelle Street

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.