Janelle Monáe released a queer anthem in 2013 and almost no-one noticed

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26: Janelle Monáe celebrates the launch of her new album and emotion picture, Dirty Computer, with her Spotify Fans at the Mack Sennett Studios in Los Angeles on April 26, 2018. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Spotify)

Janelle Monáe has revealed that she released a queer anthem five years ago.

While she was coming out as “a queer black woman” on April 26, the singer pointed to the clues she had left in her music.

The 32-year-old told Rolling Stone that the original title of her hit 2013 song “Q.U.E.E.N.” was “Q.U.E.E.R.” – and that you can still hear “queer” being sung in the background.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27:  Janelle Monae attends the special screening presented by YouTube of "Dirty Computer: An Emotion Picture by Janelle Monae" at YouTube Space LA on April 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for YouTube)

(John Sciulli/Getty)

Related: Is Janelle Monáe pansexual? Please stop assigning people the wrong sexual orientation

After her debut album The ArchAndroid was released, she refuted questions about her sexuality, saying: “The lesbian community has tried to claim me, but I only date androids.

“Nothing like an android, they don’t cheat on you.”

SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 03:  Actor/singer Janelle Monae speaks onstage during the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.  (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

(Tommaso Boddi/Getty)

But, she revealed this week, she has spoken about her sexuality with her songs throughout her career. “If you listen to my albums, it’s there,” she said.

The lyrics to “Q.U.E.E.N.” certainly contain plenty of hints, with lines like: “Hey brother can you save my soul from the devil? / Say is it weird to like the way she wear her tights?

She continues: “Am I a freak because I love watching Mary? / Hey sister am I good enough for your heaven?”

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Recording artist Janelle Monae attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

(Christopher Polk/Getty)

Fans were thrilled with the news, with many glad to be proved right after years of confusion and doubt.

One said: “Janelle Monáe FINALLY confirming that the backing vocals on Q.U.E.E.N. were saying ‘queer’ is all the vindication I need today.”


Another wrote that the star “VERY audibly says ‘Queer’ after the 1st verse right before the others say ‘Queen.’ Like its right there. Very loud y’all. Right into the mic .”


One fan tweeted: “i’m glad janelle confirmed that q.u.e.e.n. was originally called q.u.e.e.r. because for years i thought i was imagining things.”


And another replied: “it feels so vindicating because for years, I was convinced she was singing about being queer.”


In an emotive post, one person wrote: “I remember listening to Q.U.E.E.N and hearing ‘queer’ in the background vocals.

“I’d point it out, but folks always had a reason to deny what they heard. I even started to! Janelle’s music told us she was fam, but heteronormativity will have us doubt & erase our own. Not today! ✨”


Some were shook by the news, as they realised that part of themselves was trying to communicate an important message through a love of the song.

One fan wrote: “the original title of Q.U.E.E.N. by janelle monae was Q.U.E.E.R. …. i am SOBBING that was my absolute favourite song during the period in my life where i was first genuinely considering that i might not be 100% straight???”


Another tweeted: “That hoarse, howling sound you hear is me SCREAMING about Janelle Monae in general and ‘Q.U.E.E.N.’ specifically.

“This feels kinda silly to write out, but me learning and then identifying with the lyrics to that song was an essential piece of the puzzle that was understanding that I wasn’t straight?

“Like yeah. IS it weird to like the way she wear her tights?”

It is definitively not weird.

Watch the video for Q.U.E.E.N. below: