Janelle Monae Discusses Gay Rumors

by Yesha Callahan


Janelle Monae is at the top of the charts with the new release of “The Electric Lady,” the prequel to 2010′s “The ArchAndroid.” Now on the heels of the album’s release, many people are speculating about Monae’s sexual orientation. As if it’s anyone’s business.

In a recent interview with Pride Source, Monae basically said she’s going to let people think what they want to think.

“I actually have never heard that,” Monae told Pride Source. “This is the first time I’m hearing it. But I will say that a lot of my work always comes from an authoritative stance, so it may not be about me; it may just be about a story, or something that I’ve witnessed, or my imagination. You just never know.”

She said it’s fine people are relating the music directly to her. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay or lesbian or straight or black or green or purple, so I’m OK with that.”

Below are a couple of questions that were asked:

“Q.U.E.E.N.” uses phrases like “throwing shade” and “serving face,” which are often heard in drag culture. Has the drag world influenced your style and how you present yourself and your music?

Yes. I think it is an art form that’s so funny and so inspiring, so I use it in my lyrics. I have gay friends who speak in this language, and it’s just hilarious and entertaining and I thought it would be cool to, you know, give them something to kiki about.

Because of your fondness for suits, people have described you in some ways as being a drag king.


How do you feel about the term “gender bender” as it’s applied to you?

I think it’s awesome. I think it’s uniting; I’m a uniter. I won’t allow myself to be a slave to my own interpretation of myself nor the interpretations that people may have of me. I just live my life, and people can feel free to discuss whatever it is that they think and use whatever adjectives they feel. It’s a free country.

Live your life people, stop worrying about what goes on in someone else’s house.

  • cjl

    This woman is freaking awesome no matter what her sexual preference is!!

  • kiki

    that right Janelle keep them guessing until YOU see fit !! I personally think she might be Bisexual but no matter what shes freaking awesome

  • unicorn.

    you know you’ve made it once a gay rumor circulates. shes beautiful and most importantly talented. who cares!

  • Joan

    I just love her…and she’s so pretty!

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    This is the first time i’m hearing about people questioning her sexual preference too lol. All i ever hear is how awesome she is. Keep on keepin on JM!

  • L

    I know I will get many thumbs down, but it is what it is. This has become the “standard” answer right before people say their gay. There is nothing wrong with people saying their not gay. People have made it that denying being gay is homophobic. It’s not. It also doesn’t mean you care what people think either. Who wants ANY lie told about them? It doesn’t matter what the misinformation might be.

  • https://www.facebook.com/bre.solmone Bre’ Solmone

    I just did the biggest eye roll ever. People are so concerned about who someone else is sleeping with, but if they’re not sleeping with you or your partner then it really is none of your business. This is why I am completely in love with Janelle Monae, her responses were classy and educated but she pretty much just told us she doesn’t give a fck. And you know what, neither do I. I’m in awe of how she incorporates her experiences, life and friendships into her music. That takes real talent and true love for the people around you. This world needs the influence of those who live their lives without apology or explanation to counter the judgemental idiots who tell us being different is lesser or disgusting.

  • LemonNLime

    She makes awesome music and has great hair. That is all I care about. It is none of my business who she is attracted to…moving on.

  • GeekMommaRants

    Logged into iTunes, on the front page “Electric Lady” This work is incredible, every song’s a hit. Really did not expect this album to be this good.

  • The RealKay

    She makes awesome music. I couldn’t care less what she does in her private life, straight or gay. But some people will judge her for it, whether or not there’s any truth to the rumors. It’s a damn shame, especially considering a talent-less hack like Nicki Minaj made her debut posing as a bisexual woman and people just ate it up. I don’t understand that kind of hypocrisy.

  • http://travelxena.com travelxenaXena

    She being well dressed makes her a “drag King?” She neither looks nor acts like a man. She’s simply well dressed. What does her sexual orientation have to do with her music? Gay, not gay, Vulcan, Dalek. I just hope that she continues to make great music.

  • Jasz

    This is BS. Why is it that every person who has the nerve and audacity to love and accept themselves are immediately categorized as gay? There is nothing wrong with being gay, but most people know that there is still persecution in this country for being gay so sometimes they label a person they do not like/understand as gay to cause controversy and turmoil. And before anyone says that I’m equating being gay with being persecuted I will say openly that to be different from a white, heterosexual, Christian male in this country equals some level of persecution. When I listen to Janelle Monae I hear a woman in touch with herself. I like that. It’s so far removed from what we usually get in music. Also I notice that a lot of people who hang with gay people or follow gay people on social media say phrases such as “serving face” and “throwing shade”. It does not make you gay or straight. I just makes you in touch with the culture. I love her whether she LGBTQ, straight or into androids. She and Jill Scott make me hopeful for the state of music today!!!! Go Monae!

  • ab

    Honestly, She is probably gay and no one is surprised nor cares. I have no idea what her music sounds like and her being signed to Bad Boy doesnt make me really want to hear it. Yes, any artist signed to Diddy is questionable, in my opion he’s a businessman with very little knowledge about music. I like the fact that Janelle is an intelligent, beautiful brown skinned woman with awesome style and hair.She has awesome endorsements out the a** and frankly, she’s appealing because of her looks no one is checking for her music like that.

  • http://gravatar.com/noirluv45 noirluv45

    @ L, you get a thumbs up from me.

  • nik26

    Not one time have I questioned her sexuality. I guess I was too busy enjoying her music.

  • sixfoota

    If you listened to the album, to the actual lyrics, you can see where folks came up with the idea that she could be gay. I honestly think she may be, just from listening to the lyrics from SEVERAL songs where she talks about women & NOT in a friendly way. In a romantic type way you’d talk about men.

    Now, do I care? Heck naw! That album is beasting! I wish it came out the beginning of the summer so I could blast it for months in my car lol

  • Wong Chia Chi

    If she is gay or bi I don’t give a flying f***! I love her music, her style, the way she presents herself.

    And… since when is wearing a suit drag? I thought androgyny, like Annie Lennox in her early Eurythmics days or Grace Jones, was more of the look she was going for. American culture is so…backwards sometimes in the way it interprets certain things. Androgyny is the norm in many art forms in other cultures like in Europe and Asia but in America anything other than hyper femininity and very narrow definition of that usually represented here to be hypersexuality and T&A in your face, is automatically masculine? What?

    Just because Janelle Monae isn’t sticking her p***y in your face that doesn’t make how she presents herself any less feminine and beautiful. There are MANY different ways of expressing yourself and your gender/sexuality and I definitely don’t get the butch vibe from her.

    Which in my mind is a SHAME because…I would be happy to hear that she was gay or bi because while I am straighter than Nixon if Janelle Monae came up to me right now and said “I want you.” That’s it. I’d be done with men for the rest of my life. Janelle is all anyone needs.

    Yeah I said it! And I know I ain’t the only one been thinking it because that woman is so GORGEOUS I would drink her dirty bath water.

    Maybe thats where the questioning of her sexuality is coming from, people with wishful thinking!

  • BeanBean

    Accusing celebrities of being gay is a big thing now. She’s in good company. It means that Janelle’s life is so straight (no drug, DUI, twerking scandals) that the only thing the media can question is her sexuality. Gay, Bi, straight, it doesn’t matter to me.

  • Oshh

    You know as .much as I love her artistry its her lyrics people, on a few of her songs that would cause anyone to be like what??? Not her style of dress or level of success or because she is different but her very own lyrics. Like she said its the story.

  • MommieDearest


    But it wouldn’t surprise me if she is gay and came out on her own terms (like Raven Simone) or decided to keep people guessing (like Queen Latifah) and live her life hiding in plain sight.

    Now, do I give a rat’s patootie? Nope. I love her. She is talented (truly GIFTED), classy, beautiful and she keeps her clothes on.

    I picked up her CD and it is fiyah.

    Go Janelle!

  • MommieDearest

    Good point. On her CD she remakes “I Want You Back” (the Jackson Five) and she does NOT change the words to indicate that she is singing to/about a man. It reminds me of when Michelle D’Ingecello (I KNOW I butchered her name but I don’t feel like looking it up) remade “Who is He, and What is He to You?” by Bill Withers and didn’t change the pronoun “He.” Kind of makes you go “hmmmmm” LOL!

    Anyway, makes no difference to me. I love her. In the stale, played-out world that is pop music she is a nice, cool, refreshing drink of water.

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