Singer, actor, and all-around funk space cadet Janelle Monáe got personal in her recent cover interview with Rolling Stone, released Thursday. The artist declared herself a "queer black woman" and opened up about her journey to embracing her pansexuality.
“Being a queer black woman in America — someone who has been in relationships with both men and women — I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker,” she said in the interview.
She also spoke frankly about the pressures of living up to impossible industry standards.
Monáe mentioned, as many die-hard fans will already be aware of, that many of the answers to questions concerning her sexuality were already all laid out in her previous work.
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.