Afro futurism queen Janelle Monae has been very vocal about her pansexuality, and now she’s opening up about how she first became aware of her attraction to both sexes.
In a recent interview with Paper Magazine, the “Dirty Computer” rockstar explained she knew she was different back in elementary school.
“I was like eight. I don’t think I actually knew how I identified. I knew that I was attracted to women, girls, men, boys. I knew that,” she explained.
The 33-year-old, who grew up in Kansas City, saw a lot of discrimination in her conservative environment.
“I’ve seen people get beat up because they were considered to be ‘too feminine’ or ‘too masculine’ for how they identified,” she told the Mag.
Monae had to witness from a young age watching people who identified differently be ostracized from the community.
“It was because of Black men who thought he was trying to come onto them, but he wasn’t. It was their own ignorance and insecurity and fear that led them to lash out. When I saw that…To be a gay Black man, and Black men are like the ‘heads of the households’ and I’m a Black woman, this young kid. I thought, then it’s really over for me.”
Despite the early tribulations of the past, Monae bravely came out with the launch of her latest album. She feared initially, that people would think she coordinated her coming out with her project launch.
“I was terrified. 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. 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,” Janelle explained.