Janelle Monáe spoke candidly about her decision to come out about her sexual identity calling it a journey that made her feel terrified.
Last year the eight-time Grammy nominee came out publicly, identifying herself as “a queer black woman in America” in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
In a newly published conversation with fellow recording artist Lizzo, Monáe opens up further and talks about discovering her pansexuality and how she found the courage to share it with the world.
“It’s been a journey. For me, sexuality and sexual identity and fluidity is a journey. It’s not a destination,” she told Lizzo in an interview for “them,” Condé Nast’s LGBTQ+ brand.
Monáe recalls the process of learning about herself, telling Lizzo:
“I’ve discovered so much about myself over the years as I’ve evolved and grown and spent time with myself and loved ones. That’s the exciting thing—always finding out new things about who you are. And that’s what I love about life. It takes us on journeys that not even we ourselves sometimes are prepared for. You just adapt to where you are and how you’ve evolved as a free-thinking person.”
Janelle admitted that she was pleasantly surprised by the extremely positive response to her announcement as it was not what she expected.
“I thought people were gonna say, ‘Oh, she’s doing this as a publicity stunt.’ I thought I wasn’t gonna be able to go back home and be at all the barbecues,” she said. “I had anxiety. And a lot of it was just untrue. It was my fear of what people were gonna say. And I’m thankful that I didn’t allow that fear to get in the way of my freedom.”
She also credits therapy with helping her learn how to have conversations with herself and the folks that love her.
“I’ll also add that it wasn’t like I wanted to even make it a declaration,” she continued. “I knew that by being truthful through my art, people were gonna have questions, and I had to figure out a way to talk about it.”