Janelle Monáe comes out as non-binary: ‘I don’t see myself as a woman, solely’

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Janelle Monáe has come out as non-binary, saying that she feels as though ‘God is so much bigger than the “he” or the “she”.

On the latest episode of Red Table Talk, the singer joined Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow Smith – who shares with husband Will Smith – and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris for an in-depth conversation.

A few minutes in, she opened up about her non-binary identity, saying: ‘I just don’t see myself as a woman, or solely.’

A rep for the musician confirmed to Rolling Stone that she is continuing to use she/her pronouns.

Speaking about her gender identity, she said: ‘I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the “he” or the “she”. And if I am from God, 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.’

After receiving support from the trio at the table, with Jada saying her statement was ‘beautiful’, Willow asked why Janelle felt ready to come out publicly.

‘You know, somebody said, “If you don’t work out the things that you need to work out first, before you share it with the world, then you’ll be working it out with the world.” That’s what I didn’t want to do,’ she responded.

‘So I thought I needed to have all my answers correct, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing and also I hadn’t had the necessary conversations with my family. I wasn’t ready to have my family question my personal life or get calls from people that still look at me as Little Pumpkin. That’s what they call me back home.’

Janelle recalled how her mother ‘had a lot questions at first’, explaining that her late grandmother ‘was super religious’.

‘My whole family is church, church, church. And I’m just like, “What does it mean to go against your whole family on this thing?” But I was ready,’ she stated.

‘I was like, “Do you know what? If they don’t love me, don’t call me asking for no money.” You will not get my LGBTQIA+ money. Some of them still are like, “Mm, but let me be quiet, ‘cause I may need something.”’

The Hidden Figures star said that her sister knew about her gender identity already, while her dad was ‘great’ when he found out.

‘I’ve been playing a version of some parts of me, but now I’m owning all of me. I had to own all of me to really be able to talk about it publicly,’ she said.

In 2020, Janelle referenced being non-binary in a post shared on Twitter, using the hashtag ‘#IAmNonbinary’.

When asked about the tweet in an interview, she said that she was tweeting in support of Non-Binary Day ‘and to bring more awareness to the community’.

In 2018, she came out as queer, revealing how she identified with pansexuality after reading about it.

Red Table Talk is available to watch on Facebook.

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