Janelle Monáe Says She Doesn’t See Herself Soley As A Woman, As She Comes Out As Non-Binary + Reveals Her Dad Battled Crack Cocaine
Musician and actor Janelle Monáe confirmed she is nonbinary, meaning neither exclusively male nor female.
During an appearance on the season 5 premiere of ‘Red Table Talk’, titled ‘Janelle Monáe’s Hidden Struggles’, the ‘Tightrope’ singer gave insight into her gender identity. The Facebook Watch series is hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith and co-hosted by her daughter, Willow, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. Speaking with the three women, Janelle Monáe said,
“I’m non-binary, so I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she.’ And if I am from God, I am everything.”
Janelle Monáe made it clear that they’re still committed to feminism and female empowerment—despite the fact that they do not identify strictly as a woman. They said,
“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.”
Many people may remember Janelle Monáe appearing to come out as non-binary on Twitter in 2020, though she later explained that it was more of a sign of solidarity than a revelation.
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi Mayweather????? (@JanelleMonae) January 10, 2020
In a later interview, they said,
“I tweeted the #IAmNonbinary hashtag in support of Nonbinary Day and to bring more awareness to the community. 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.”
In addition to opening up about her gender identity, Janelle Monáe also shared struggles of her father’s past drug addiction and how constant feelings of abandonment spilled into their music career—especially during performances. They said:
“That was always in the back of my mind. Will they love me? My parents were not together and I always thought it was me. Why am I not being taken care of by my dad? He had gotten on crack cocaine, and that changed his life. It changed our relationship. Now, he’s clean. Completely sober, he’s doing incredible, he’s like my best friend.”
Janelle Monáe continued,
“But this was when he was sick. I was dealing with real rejection, abandonment issues. What if people leaving me was a direct correlation to my dad? And always feeling like, if I wasn’t perfect, would they leave me. I don’t want to feel the pain of anybody leaving me.”
Non-binary people are those who do not identify exclusively as male or female. It is possible that they feel like a mix of genders or like they have no identity at all.
Since 2015, the singer has been rumored to be in a relationship with ‘Creed’ actress Tessa Thompson. Though neither of them have confirmed the news, Tessa Thompson, who identifies as bisexual, previously said,
“It’s tricky, because Janelle and I are just really private people and we’re both trying to navigate how you reconcile wanting to have that privacy and space, and also wanting to use your platform and influence. I can take things for granted because of my family – it’s so free and you can be anything that you want to be. I’m attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion.”
She also shared,
“That was something I was conscientious of in terms of this declaration around Janelle and myself. I want everyone else to have that freedom and support that I have from my loved ones. But so many people don’t. So, do I have a responsibility to talk about that? Do I have a responsibility to say in a public space that this is my person?”
Do you know personally anyone who identifies as non-binary? How do you show your support for them? Let us know in the comments!