Janelle Monae Explains Why She Was ‘Terrified’ To Discuss Her Sexuality

April 13, 2019  |  

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Source: VALERIE MACON / Getty

Janelle Monae is a LGBTQ activist but hasn’t opened up much about her experience as a part of that community until now. The reason she has remained tight-lipped was her fear of being rejected once she came out.

The Kansas songstress said she was “terrified” about coming out as a Black queer woman to Rolling Stone last year. She said she feared being shunned by her loved ones and not being believed by her fans.

“I thought people were gonna say, ‘Oh, she’s doing this as a publicity stunt.’ I thought I wasn’t gonna be able to go back home and be at all the barbecues,” she told Lizzo during a sit down for them. “I had anxiety. And a lot of it was just untrue. It was my fear of what people were gonna say. And I’m thankful that I didn’t allow that fear to get in the way of my freedom.”

The Dirty Computer singer said that becoming comfortable with her sexuality has led her on a journey of self-exploration and has helped her “evolve as a free thinking person.”

“It’s been a journey. For me, sexuality and sexual identity and fluidity is a journey. It’s not a destination I’ve discovered so much about myself over the years as I’ve evolved and grown and spent time with myself and loved ones. That’s the exciting thing—always finding out new things about who you are. And that’s what I love about life. It takes us on journeys that not even we ourselves sometimes are prepared for.”

Monae went on to say that going to psychotherapy helped her figure out how to cope with the ups and downs of coming out as black queer woman and dealing with how it would affect her relationships, especially with God and the black church.

“After I had those conversations with myself and I saw a therapist, I had to be able to talk about what it meant to identify as bisexual. What does that mean? How would discovering that impact the relationship I was in at the time? How do I talk about it with my family? How do I go back to my church?”
Monae said her music has pushed her to live out loud because she could inspire other black girls and women just like her.
“”One thing I’ve realized even more was that when you walk in your truth, you can inspire and encourage people to walk in theirs.”

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