Janelle Monáe says she was ‘terrified’ to come out as queer

Janelle Monae at the Grammys.

Janelle Monáe has revealed that she was “terrified” over what others would think of her after coming out as pansexual.

The 33-year-old singer spoke about her sexuality for the first time in an interview with Rolling Stone last April.

In a cover story for LGBT+ community-driven magazine them, Monáe said she was “terrified” and worried people would think it was a publicity stunt.

“I had anxiety. And a lot of it was just untrue,” the singer explained to rapper Lizzo in the interview for them. “I’m thankful that I didn’t allow that fear to get in the way of my freedom.”

While speaking about her new album, Dirty Computer, Monáe noted that being a black woman can often make coming out even more difficult.

“To be young, queer, and black in America means that you can be misunderstood,” she said. “I just hope we can get to a point where black women who don’t identify as strictly heterosexual are normalised.”

Janelle Monae’s small town upbringing

Monáe said she felt upbringing in Kansas played a part in her difficulties coming out.

“I grew up there, in a very small town, and I went to a Baptist church; to be anything other than heterosexual is a sin in that community, and growing up, I was always told I’d go to hell if I was,” she explained.

“I think that by being the example, we make it a little easier for kids to be able to talk to their loved ones about it.”

— Janelle Monáe

But after speaking to a therapist Monáe was able to talk about her feelings regarding her sexuality and “what it meant to identify as bisexual.”

Monáe at 2018 BET Awards.

Monáe came out as pansexual last year. (Leon Bennett/Getty)

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