Janelle Monae is opening up about their gender identity and coming out as nonbinary.
In the season five premiere of Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk series, the Grammy-nominated Dirty Computer singer and actor stopped by to chat with hosts Jaida Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield Norris, and it was during their chat that Monae said they now identify as nonbinary.
"I'm nonbinary, so I just don't see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy," they said. "I feel like God is so much bigger than the 'he' or the 'she.' And if I am from God, I am everything. I am everything. But I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything that I am. Beyond the binary."
This isn't the first time Monae has opened up about their identity. Speaking about their sexuality, they had previously come out as pansexual in 2018 during an interview with Rolling Stone.
"Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women, I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf*cker," they told the magazine at the time. Though they initially identified as bisexual, they later clarified saying, "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."
In January of 2020, Monae also tweeted out the hashtag #IAmNonbinary, which led fans and followers to believe that they were coming out as nonbinary at that time, though they later clarified to The Cut that that move was just to show support for the community on a special day to bring awareness and visibility.
"I tweeted the #IAmNonbinary hashtag in support of Nonbinary Day and to bring more awareness to the community," Monae said. "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."
Elsewhere in their Red Table Talk episode, Monae also talked about how important it was for them to work through their own identity first before publicly sharing and opening up to the rest of the world, their conservative family included.
"Somebody said, 'If you don't work out the things that you need to work out first before you share with the world, then you'll be working it out with the world,'" they shared. "That's what I didn't want to do. So I thought I needed to have all my answers correct, I don't want to say the wrong thing."
Congrats on continuing to live your truth, Janelle!
Watch Janelle Monae's full Red Table Talk episode in the video below.
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