Janelle Monáe Reveals She's Non-Binary on 'Red Table Talk' : 'I Just Don't See Myself as a Woman, Solely'

In an episode of Red Table Talk, Janelle Monáe revealed she identifies as non-binary, and she told the Los Angeles Times she'll use both they/them and she/her pronouns going forward

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monáe. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty

Janelle Monáe is opening up about her gender identity with the Smith family.

In an episode of Red Table Talk released Wednesday, the 36-year-old musician and actor revealed she identifies as non-binary, and she told The Los Angeles Times she'll use both they/them and she/her pronouns going forward.

"I just don't see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy," Monáe 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."

Speaking to The Los Angeles Times about her non-binary identity in an interview published Thursday, Monáe cheekily joked about the different sets of pronouns other individuals can acceptedly use to address her: "My pronouns are free-ass-motherf—er and they/them, her/she."

Elsewhere in the Red Table Talk episode, the "Make Me Feel" singer opened up to Willow, 21, about the decision to publicly discuss her gender identity. "Somebody said, 'If you don't work out the things that you need to work out first before you share with the world, then you'll be working it out with the world,'" Monáe explained. "That's what I didn't want to do. So I thought I needed to have all my answers correct, I didn't want to say the wrong thing."

When seeking romance, the Hidden Figures star said a potential partner's specific gender identity doesn't affect her attraction. "I don't see how you identify," she said. "And I feel like that opens you up to fall in love with whoever, with any beautiful spirit."

Monáe also spoke to the Smiths about the decision to come out later in life. "Thinking back to when I first started, I was like, man, as free as I was on stage, when I came off stage, I was still that scared little girl," detailed the performer. "Like I'm not good enough."

Furthermore, she discussed the process of healing from the traumatic experience of witnessing her father's drug addiction and how it affected her confidence. "That was always in the back of my mind," continued Monáe. "Will they love me? My parents were not together and I always thought it was me. Why am I not being taken care of by my dad? He had gotten on crack cocaine, and that changed his life. It changed our relationship."

"Now, he's clean," she said of her father. "Completely sober, he's doing incredible, he's like my best friend."

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