April 27, 2018 shall now and forever be known as Dirty Computer day. There, I said it on the internet so it’s now part of the official record forever and ever, Amen. In advance of the album’s release, Janelle Monáe sat down with Rolling Stone to talk about her life and career and while doing so, she quietly came out as queer.
I am thankful to all my musical heroes who graced this cover before me . Thank you @RollingStone for recognizing this lil’ #DirtyComputer - JM 🤖💗🙏🏿 https://t.co/Y6zGNifi5V— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) April 26, 2018
Styling: @amandelkorn & me
Photo: Matt Jones pic.twitter.com/zeqtV1wzic
Janelle told Rolling Stone:
“Being a queer black woman in America,” she says, taking a breath as she comes out, “someone who has been in relationships with both men and women - I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.” She initially identified as bisexual, she clarifies, “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.”
That’s right, you heard her. She’s a free-ass motherfucker! How many of us can boast that? Not that it’s anyone’s business, but people have speculated about Janelle’s sexuality for years. But Janelle says the answers were there all along, for anyone who cared to listen.
She always ducked questions about her sexuality (“I only date androids” was a stock response) but embedded the real answers in her music. “If you listen to my albums, it’s there,” she says. She cites “Mushrooms & Roses” and “Q.U.E.E.N.,” two songs that reference a character named Mary as an object of affection. In the 45-minute film accompanying Dirty Computer, “Mary Apple” is the name given to female “dirty computers” taken captive and stripped of their real names, one of whom is played by Tessa Thompson. (The actress has been rumored to be Monáe’s girlfriend, though Monáe won’t discuss her dating life.) The original title of “Q.U.E.E.N.,” she notes, was “Q.U.E.E.R.,” and you can still hear the word on the track’s background harmonies.
Oh hey pic.twitter.com/lYAvtrZTj6— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) April 26, 2018
Queer, queen, android or earthling; I’m buying whatever the fuck Janelle is selling.