Janelle Monae Is STILL Playing Coy About Her Relationship With Tessa Thompson

April 20, 2018  |  


I watched the “Pynk” video and thought for sure that after months of speculation and public appearances that Janelle Monae was announcing to the world that she and Tessa Thompson were a thing. I mean, she used the woman’s head as her clitoris in the middle of her vagina pants.

Still, when Jenna Wortham, for the New York Times, asked Monae about the album and that video specifically, she still fell back onto her old strategy of playing coy.

When asked if the video was her “coming out” moment, she said that she was coming out as an advocate for women and queer issues.“I want it to be very clear that I’m an advocate for women,” she said. “I’m a girl’s girl, meaning I support women no matter what they choose to do. I’m proud when everybody is taking agency over their image and their bodies.”

When asked explicitly about the relationship with Thompson, Wortham said “Watching [Monae] as decided on a response was like watching a mathematician working out Fermat’s Last Theorem. Gears were churning; calculations were being made. Finally, she laughed, raised her eyebrows and deflected: “I hope people feel celebrated,” she said. “I hope they feel love. I hope they feel seen.”

It’s disappointing.

I’m not one of those people who believe that celebrities owe us their lives. I don’t think they need to divulge personal and sacred information about their lives.

But what I don’t understand is constantly suggesting, constantly hinting, consciously causing speculation only to offer vague explanations when presented with a direct question.

It’s particularly problematic when Monae claims to offer a voice to Black, queer women but there is still such a lack of honesty.

And based on the article, it seems that Monae is still worried about what people will say about her.

When she first started releasing music, she did so under the alter ego Cyndi Mayweather. Monae said Cyndi helped her to “talk more,” to say the things she didn’t feel entirely comfortable expressing from her own mouth.

But she says, when Prince died, she started thinking more seriously about legacy. “I couldn’t fake being vulnerable. In terms of how I will be remembered, I have anxiety around that, like the whole concept about what I’ll be remembered for.”

The most telling portion of the Times article is that Monae is still figuring out what she does and doesn’t want to share with the public.

Wortham said that Monae told her repeatedly that she was worried about what her early fans and her very religious, very Southern family would think about some of her content.

I can’t imagine the position she’s in or the questions she’s asking herself. I would just hope that eventually, she gets to the place of a deeper, more consistent authenticity.

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