Janelle Monáe On Attending Her First Pride Parade After Coming Out: 'It Was So Incredible'

The singer recently attended her first Pride parade, one year after coming out as pansexual.

Pride month is all about celebrating and accepting one another, and also supporting the brave members of the LGBTQ+ community, who have taken the step of coming out and sharing who they are with the world.

But Janelle Monáe, who came out as pansexual in 2018, doesn’t limit the fun to just June. “Pride month is every month for me,” says the star, 33, and new face of Belvedere Vodka’s new Beautiful Future campaign.

At the launch of the new bottle she helped design for the brand, Monáe, shared just how she celebrated this month, attending her first Pride festival in New Orleans.

2018 BET Awards - Arrivals
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“It was so incredible, people were so happy. The thing that made me really teary-eyed was seeing young black kids with their moms there. Their moms brought them and were standing by their sides.”

Monáe says that while she has her mom’s full support, “Growing up, though, I could not have imagined…there are also so many kids who don’t have that, young and old, who don’t have that community.”

Janelle Monae
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She continues, “Being able to see that community at pride and in New Orleans, to see them celebrating, dancing, laughing, just not having a care in the world for those two hours I was there was just a sight to see,” she says. “I encourage everyone, even if you’re not a part of the LGBTQIA+ community to go and experience that joy.”

Her latest album, Dirty Computer, has been a part of her coming out process, which she previously described as “beautiful”. Pansexual is a term often used to characterize a person whose sexual preference is not limited by biological sex, gender or gender identity.

“One of the things I had to do on my last album and before that was peel back my own layers so that I can walk deeper and deeper into my truth.” she says.

Just over a year after she opened up, the singer is inspiring others to do the same.

“There’s never a wrong time to promote positivity in the future. I think especially with the world we’re living in, specifically in America, we have to have conversation, important conversations” says the singer.

Janelle Monae
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As a part of those efforts, Monáe says her Belvedere Vodka limited-edition bottle design was inspired by the idea of peeling back layers to reveal the beauty inside, in order to celebrate honest and true self expression.

She adds, “When you look at the bottle you see a different design that literally has a peeling of the bottle and peeling back our layers to get to our uniqueness and walking in our purpose. It’s not about being in a system that wasn’t built for us, but really creating a new one.”

  • Reporting by Janine Rubenstein
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