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Janelle Monáe came out as a pansexual and says she's "a free-ass motherf****r" - but what does that mean?

“Pansexual” – I hear you say – “what is that?!”

IN AN INTERVIEW with Rolling Stone, Janelle Monáe – the critically acclaimed singer and actress – broke her silence around her sexuality.

Source: Javier Rojas

Monáe addressed the long standing rumours of her sexuality by saying:

Being a queer black woman in America…

She took a deep breath before she continued…

someone who has been in relationships with both men and women—I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf****r.

And with that, people around the globe resolved that their new life aim was to be a ‘Free-ass motherf****r’.

Tweet by @Harry Smith 🎉💖 Source: Harry Smith 🎉💖/Twitter

At first, Monáe said she identified as bisexual. However, this view evolved as she learnt more about the binary culture of sexuality and gender that we are taught from birth:

…later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.

For those of you who are saying ‘huh’, no, pansexuality is not having erotic thoughts towards Brennan’s sliced pan.

Source: Giphy

Pansexuality is the sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction towards others regardless of their sex or gender identity. Essentially, pansexual people are rejecting the notion that there are only men/males and women/females (i.e. binary or only two gender identities).

Before you go rolling your eyes up to heaven at what the millenials are doing now to ruin society, know that the idea of only two genders is a very western European idea.

The notion of there being more than two gender roles (male and female) existed in many cultures before the European Christian colonisation of the world from the 16th century onwards. For example, in Native American culture, they accepted that there were five gender roles: Female, male, Two Spirit female, Two Spirit male and transgendered.

Source: Birdie ThompsonAdmedia

Okurrrr – history lesson over for now – back to America 2018.

Before this interview, Monáe had been very coy about her sexuality, always dismissing any questions with her stock answer of “I only date androids”.

For people in the entertainment industry, there is a very real fear that coming out as not-heterosexual will be a career-ending move. In October, Cara Delevingne said  that serial abuser Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, rang her up once and ended the phonecall with this pleasant exchange:

…he said to me that  if I was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public that I’d never get the role of a straight woman or make it as an actress in Hollywood.

*thumb up, Harvey, you absolute tool*

So it’s completely understandable why someone in the entertainment industry like Monáe has taken their time to open up about their sexuality. But Monáe is secure in her career. She is now a powerhouse in Hollywood and the music industry, starring in an Oscar-winning movie (Moonlight) and an oscar-nominated movie (Hidden Figures) as well as having six Grammy nominations under her belt.

Source: DPA/PA Images

But after the election in 2016 with a Vice President with a lot of homophobic  tendancies, Monae was inspired to see that this was the right time to be transparent about who she was.

Speaking about the election night, Monáe said:

I felt like if I wake up tomorrow, are people going to feel they have the right to just, like, kill me now?

She said:

I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you.
This album is for you. Be proud

Monáe’s song ‘Pynk’ was released with a lot of publicity due to the costumes that Monáe and her dancers wore, which replicated vaginas with lots of intricate layers of ruffled pink material. Vox described it by saying it’s “as queer a music video as they come”.

Source: youtube.com

Janelle described ‘Pynk’ as a “celebration of creation, self love, sexuality and pussy power”.

Anyone else hear the phrase ‘p-p-p-pussy power’  in their head, said the way Scrappy Doo says ‘p-p-p-puppy power’?

Okay, no, so just me then.

Monáe’s bravenss and openess will help countless others who are perhaps struggling in a  world that only sees straight and binary gendered people.

To paraphase one twitter user, “it’s a good day to be gay”.

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