Janelle Monáe has come out as non-binary.
The actor and singer-songwriter opened up about their gender identity in a recent episode of Red Table Talk with hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris.
“I’m non-binary. I just don’t see myself as a woman or solely – I feel all of my energy,” Monáe said early in the episode. “I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘He’ or the ‘She.’ And if I am from God, I am everything.”
They continued, “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.”
The multi-talented performer spoke candidly about many issues, including their upbringing in a religious and conservative family, their father’s struggles with drug addiction, and their own insecurities and fears of abandonment.
Monáe also opened up about their decision to come out as pansexual in 2018, following years of speculation about their sexual orientation. “Somebody said, ‘If you don’t work out the things you need to work out first before you share it with the world, you’ll be working it out with the world,’ they said. “I thought I needed to have all my answers correct. I don’t want to say the wrong thing. And also, I hadn’t had the necessary conversations with my family,” they added. “I wasn’t ready to have my family question my personal life.”
Now, however, they have fully accepted who they are. “I’ve been playing a version of some parts of me, but now I’m owning all of me,” Monáe said. “I had to own all of me to really be able to talk about it publicly.”