Janelle Monáe has come out as non-binary. The musician and actress, 36, shared the realization on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk show on Thursday with hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, plus her daughter Willow Smith, and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. “I just don’t see myself as a woman solely,” she stated. “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.”
Despite her revelation about her gender identity, Janelle still noted that she “will always, always stand with women” and will make standing with “Black women” her main focus. “But I just see everything that I am, beyond the binary,” she noted.
The “I Like That” singer, who came out as pansexual in 2018, went on to explain that she sees everyone’s “energy” before how they present themselves or share their sexual orientation. “It opens me up to fall in love with any beautiful spirit,” she shared.
Janelle also admitted that she’s still exploring the idea of gender identity considering how it pertains to her. Her rep also told Rolling Stone that she also continues to use she/her pronouns.
When the women of the table asked what caused the Hidden Figures star to speak freely about her non-binary status, she responded, “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,” she added. “So I thought I needed to have all my answers correct. I don’t want to say the wrong thing.”
Janelle then revealed that she took some time to share the news with her loved ones, as many of them still see her as “little Janelle.”
“I wasn’t ready to have my family question my personal life or get calls from people who still look at me as Little Pumpkin — that’s what they call me back home,” she explained. “I needed to talk to my dad, who was just great. My sister knew already because I’ve been in monogamous relationships; I’ve been in polyamorous relationships. But I knew that I couldn’t be Little Pumpkin. I couldn’t be little Janelle.”
The “Pynk” singer then shared she’s still figuring a lot of herself out as she goes along. Before she came out as pansexual in 2018, she noted she considered herself bisexual. “But then later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too,’” she told Rolling Stone around the time of her coming out, adding that she felt like “a free-ass motherf–ker.”