Janelle Monáe is opening up about the importance behind speaking publicly about her non-binary gender identity.
In a new interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show, the musician and Glass Onion actress explained her approach to discussing her identity and how doing so can impact others.
“I think it’s all about just honoring your truth and your authenticity, and whatever that may look like,” Monáe told host and former PEOPLE editor-in-chief Jess Cagle. “I’m not this arrogant person that thinks I have all the answers, so I think for me, it’s about making sure I’m also saying to people, ‘Further investigate who you are,’ you know?”
She continued, encouraging anyone questioning their own gender identity to explore it: “Allow yourself to discover something new about yourself. Open up your mind to different possibilities, and listen to folks who are saying, ‘This is who I am. This is how I feel inside and outside.'”
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Janelle Monáe
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“I think all of it, to me, is important as we evolve as humanity, as we understand more about gender, as we understand more about sexuality,” added the “Make Me Feel” musician. “So, I’m just keeping an open mind about it all.”
Last year, Monáe opened up about her non-binary identity during an appearance on Red Table Talk. “I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy,” she said to the show’s hosts, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she.'”
“And if I am from God, I am everything. But I will always, always stand with women,” continued The Memory Librarian author, who came out as pansexual in 2018. “I will always stand with Black women. But I just see everything that I am, beyond the binary.”
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Janelle Monáe
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Earlier this month, the Grammy-nominated singer spoke to The New Yorker about how she prefers to refer to the process of coming out as “coming in.”
“You’re bringing people into who you are. You’re allowing them a unique opportunity to further understand how you see yourself,” Monáe told the outlet. “For me, it was not this big declarative statement. It was just, ‘This is who I am.’ I don’t think anybody should feel obligated to talk about their sexuality.”
She added, “For me, after having the necessary conversations with my loved ones, and also feeling comfortable enough to let it seep into my writing and my art, I knew that it was time.”