Janelle Monáe seemingly came out as non-binary by tweeting the hashtag #IAmNonbinary.
The hashtag was trending on Twitter on Friday, January 10. LGBTQ organizations such as GLAAD used the hashtag to raise awareness about non-binary identity. Also, many non-binary folks shared their own selfies and stories with the tag.
Janelle Monáe got in on the action by re-posting someone’s tweet about being non-binary. “There is absolutely nothing better than living outside the gender binary. #IAmNonbinary,” the original post said above a GIF from “Steven Universe” that reads: “‘Are you a boy or a girl?’ I’m an experience.”
Monáe simply wrote “#IAmnonbinary” in her retweet, plus a spaceship emoji.
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) January 10, 2020
Monáe didn’t clarify whether she was opening up about her own identity or simply showing solidarity with non-binary people. However, many fans definitely assumed the former. They applauded the singer for speaking her truth and increasing non-binary visibility. Others wondered about which pronouns Monáe uses.
“Thank you for always living your truth! You are such a light!” editor Raquel Willis wrote.
“Thank you for being a voice to those finding their own, and for publicly sharing something intimate,” a fan added.
Monáe came out as pansexual in 2018. She told Rolling Stone: “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 motherf*cker.” Monáe also explained that she’d initially identified as bisexual, “but then later 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.”
Around the same time, Monáe was linked to actress Tessa Thompson, who appears in the music video for “Pynk.” Thompson came out as bisexual in 2018. The pair’s relationship was never confirmed, though Thompson admitted they “love each other deeply” during an interview with Net-a-Porter.