Janelle Monáe, star of drama movies Moonlight and Hidden Figures, has come out as non-binary. The eclectic popstar and actor spoke about their gender on an episode of Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett-Smith, where they discussed seeing “beyond the binary”.
“I’m non-binary, so I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy,” Monae told Pinkett-Smith. “I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she.’ If I am from God, I am everything. I am everything, but I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything beyond the binary.”
The conversation stemmed from Monáe’s pansexuality – meaning they’re attracted to people regardless of their gender. Monáe publicly came out as pansexual in 2018, right before putting out their album Dirty Computer. “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,” Monáe says on Red Table Talk.
To Monáe, it’s all about seeing the person. “I don’t see how you identify, and I feel like that opens you up to fall in love with whoever, with any beautiful spirit,” they explain.
These ideas can be found through-out Monáe’s work, where they explore gender, identity, and understanding one’s own body through the prism of sci-fi, fantasy, and funky bass lines. Since Dirty Computer, #Monáe contributed music to Netflix series We the People, and just had their first book out, The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories From Dirty Computer.
You can see Janelle Monáe, rather just hear them, when the Knives Out 2 release date comes around on Netflix.