Janelle Monáe comes out as nonbinary: ‘I feel all of my energy’

Janelle Monáe has a book coming out called The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer. They were a guest of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk where they announced that they are nonbinary and use the pronouns they/them and she/her. Willow Smith asked Janelle why she came out publicly, having already identified as pansexual prior. They said “I know who I am.”

Janelle Monáe, the Grammy-nominated performer, actor and author, has confirmed that they identify as nonbinary in interviews tied to their new book.

“I’m nonbinary,” Monáe said in an appearance this week on “Red Table Talk,” the Facebook series co-hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith. “So I don’t see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy … I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she,’ and if I am God, I am everything.”

The “Tightrope” singer said they use the pronouns they/them and she/her, in a conversation with the Los Angeles Times this week promoting their book, “The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer.”

Willow Smith, Pinkett Smith’s daughter, asked Monáe on “Red Table Talk” about what motivated them to come out publicly.

“If you don’t work out the things that you need to work out first with the world, you’ll be working it out with the world,” Monáe said. “I know who I am. I’ve been playing a version of some parts of me, but now I’m owning all of me.”

[From CNN]

Janelle further clarified that even though they don’t see themselves solely as a woman, they would, “always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything that I am, beyond the binary.” I think the struggle of being a woman, especially a black woman, is an important part of Janelle’s history and I can see why they wanted to assure women they’d never stop fighting for them. I also like the idea that if we don’t work out what we need to before we bring it to the world, we’ll be working it out with the world. I think letting the world in too soon has affected more than one journey. And it’s clear Janelle made her journey in the way she needed to. Especially if they now feel all their energy. I’d love to be able to say that.

Also, Janelle’s full quote to the LA times about their pronouns was, “My pronouns are free-ass-motherf—er and they/them, her/she.” They and she are shorter to write so I’m only using those, but I’d be happy to use free-ass-motherf***er if I’m ever giving a verbal introduction to Janelle.

Photo credit: Instar Images and Avalon Red

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19 Responses to “Janelle Monáe comes out as nonbinary: ‘I feel all of my energy’”

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  1. BrainFog 💉💉💉😷 says:

    This is beautiful. As a fellow nb I am delighted. And I might be having a bit of a crush on them

    • Haapa says:

      They have always been my #1 celebrity crush. And hi fellow nb!!

      On a related note, I know this is not what Janelle has indicated for themself, but it is possible to be nonbinary and still identify as a woman (like me!).

      • caela says:

        Hey fellow nbs!!

        Love how they made a point to say she will always be there for black women.

        @haapa I identify as NB in myself but policitally as a woman so I think I get what you mean.

  2. Tx_mom says:

    I love them too! I’m the auntie of a nb so I love to see public declarations like this (also will be checking to see if my nibbling would like me to switch over to “free-ass motherf***er”).

  3. Sandra says:

    This is totally off subject but they have a strong resemblance to FKA twigs.

  4. sunny says:

    Wishing them all the best. BTW, they are one of the greatest live performers we have right now. I saw Janelle on tour twice- both times were AMAZING.

    • Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

      Never gotten to see them live but I bet they are great. Django Jane is an underrated banger, you can’t listen to that song and not feel powerful.

  5. Kathryn says:

    I love her, and encourage everyone to listen to her album Dirty Computer. Even better, watch the full length video she made for the album, mind blowing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdH2Sy-BlNE

  6. blairski says:

    They have such style! I’m always impressed with their stunning outfits. They balance looks that are unusual and also beautiful.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Agreed. The third look is the best. Good for them. I love what they had to say here.

  7. Zantasia says:

    Please excuse the question—I have been looking online and I wanted to get some perspective. When a person lists their pronouns in that order, they/them and she/her, does it mean that they prefer the first set and would not be offended by people using the second set? Or does it mean that both are preferred? I want to be the most respectful.

    • Jensies says:

      It’s a good question. Generally, that’s exactly what that means, the one they prefer first. But when in doubt, just ask. 🙂 most of us nbs are happy to share our preferences to those who care enough to ask.

  8. dawnchild says:

    Thanks for including these stories.
    I come here for the education, and so I can be a better ally 🙂

  9. JFerber says:

    The first picture is Goals for me. What a standout and so damn talented!

  10. angrypineapple says:

    Planning to pick-up The Memory Librarian from my local bookstore this week! I haven’t been this excited to buy a book in a whiiiiiiiile. <3 Janelle.

  11. Doodle says:

    As the mom to a kick ass nb I love these kinds of stories. Keep them coming!