Janelle Monáe opens up about her non-binary identity: ‘This is who I am’

Janelle Monáe has spoken candidly about her non-binary identity after announcing she uses she/her and they/them pronouns last year.

The Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery star recently appeared on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show”, where she spoke about keeping an open mind to gender identity.

“I think it’s all about just honoring your truth and your authenticity, and whatever that may look like,” Monáe told host Jess Cagle during an episode on Friday, 13 January. “I’m not this arrogant person that thinks I have all the answers, so I think for me, it’s about making sure that I’m also saying to people, ‘Further investigate who you are,’ you know?”

“Allow yourself to discover something new about yourself,” the 37-year-old actor said. “Open up your mind to different possibilities, and listen to folks who are saying, ‘Hey, this is who I am. This is how I feel inside and outside.’”

The Grammy-nominated singer added that she feels it’s important for those who are non-binary to have “patience, truth, compassion” for people who struggle to understand gender identity.

“I think all of it, to me, is important as we evolve as humanity, as we understand more about gender, as we understand more about sexuality,” she said. “So, I’m just keeping an open mind about it all.”

Janelle Monáe first came out as non-binary in April 2022 during an episode of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk. Speaking to co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Monáe said: “I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she’.

“And if I am from God, I am everything. 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.”

When the Moonlight actor was asked about speaking her truth, she recalled: “Somebody said, ‘If you don’t work out the things that you need to work out first before you share with the world, then you’ll be working it out with the world.’

“That’s what I didn’t want to do. So I thought I needed to have all my answers correct, I don’t want to say the wrong thing,” she continued.

Monáe added that she prefers to perceive people based on their energy, rather than based on their gender and sex, saying, “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.”

In a Los Angeles Times interview published that same year, Monáe also noted that her “pronouns are free-ass motherf***er – and they/them, her/she.”

Monáe had previously come out as pansexual in 2018.