In a new Rolling Stone cover story, the popular singer-actress, who is about to drop her new album, Dirty Computer, finally addressed her sexuality, revealing she has been in "relationships with both men and women."
"I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker," explains Monáe.
The "Tightrope" singer goes onto explain how she initially identified as bisexual, "but then 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."
During the interview, Monáe reveals how queer elements have always been in her music. She brings up "Mushrooms & Roses" and "Q.U.E.E.N.," (her song with Erykah Badu), two tracks that reference someone named Mary, as an object of Monae's affection. She also reveals how "Q.U.E.E.N." was originally called "Q.U.E.E.R.," and you can still hear the original title on the song's background harmonies.
The music videos for the singles from Dirty Computer have celebrated being queer, and the album will feature an accompanying film where Tessa Thompson—who Monáe was after in the "Make Me Feel" video—plays one of the female "dirty computers" named "Mary Apple."
"I want young girls, young boys, non-binary, 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," Monáe tells Rolling Stone, referring to how she wants listeners to have the courage to be their own "dirty computer."
"This album is for you. Be proud."