(CNN) — Janelle Monáe, the Grammy-nominated performer, actor, and author, has confirmed that they identify as nonbinary in a discussion tied to their new book.
“I’m nonbinary,” Monáe said in an appearance this week on “Red Table Talk,” the Facebook series co-hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith. “So I don’t see myself as a woman, solely. I feel all of my energy … I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she,’ and if I am God, I am everything.”
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The “Tightrope” singer said they use the pronouns they/them and she/her, in a conversation with the Los Angeles Times this week promoting their book, “The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer.”
Monáe has beforehand confirmed that they identify as pansexual, which means they’re attracted to people regardless of gender or sex.
Willow Smith, Pinkett Smith’s daughter, asked Monáe on “Red Table Talk” about what motivated them to come out publicly.
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“If you don’t work out the things that you need to work out first with the world, you’ll be working it out with the world,” Monáe said. “I know who I am. I’ve been playing a version of some parts of me, but now I’m owning all of me.”
Monáe, whose musical and visual work often references Afrofuturism, has for years eschewed binary thinking. In a 2020 interview with Variety, Monáe said she “always tried to get rid of … any labels and … show love to everyone who continues to live outside of the binary.”
“The Memory Librarian,” which was released earlier this week, includes many of the same themes of queerness, sci-fi dystopia and the celebration of Black women and nonbinary people present in Monáe’s earlier efforts. On screen, Monáe will next be seen in “Knives Out 2.”
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