If you have questions about Janelle Monáe’s gender identity, the singer is making it clear. The Moonlight star identifies as non-binary, according to a recent interview with Jada Pinkett Smith‘s “Red Table Talk.”
“I’m nonbinary, so I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely,” Monáe explained. “I feel all of my energy. 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,” the singer continued, expressing their continued support of those who identify as wholly feminine. “But I just see everything beyond the binary.”
Monáe’s revelation comes nearly four years after they came out as pansexual in a 2018 Rolling Stone cover story. The singer’s gender identity was also a topic of conversation when they retweeted a meme of the hashtag #IAmNonbinary in 2020. At the time, many assumed Monáe was coming out as non-binary, but the star clarified that they was supporting and bringing awareness to the community.
The process of exploring who Monáe is, the Hidden Figures star admitted, wasn’t easy, especially with “Baptist, super religious and super conservative” roots. After coming to terms with the truth, Monáe had “necessary conversations” with her family members, who have all been understanding. With that out of the way, they felt comfortable enough to share the news with the world.
“Somebody said, ‘If you don’t work out the things that you need to work out first before sharing it with the world, then you’re going to be working it out with the world,” Monáe said. “That’s what I didn’t want to do.”
“I had to be where I was. I know who I am. I’ve been playing a version of some parts of me, but now I’m owning all of me,” the star continued. “I had to own all of me to really be able to talk about it publicly.”