Janelle Monáe comes out as nonbinary and shares their rather unique pronouns

A Black woman in a white dress sits on a sofa with her hands spread out at her sides
Janelle Monáe is set to talk Saturday afternoon at the L.A. Times Festival of Books.
(Justin J. Wee / For The Times)

Janelle Monáe’s gender-identity journey is continuing, with the queer multitalented artist coming out publicly this week as nonbinary. And what are Monáe’s pronouns, you might ask?

“My pronouns are free-ass motherf— and they/them, her/she,” the performer and newly minted author told The Times in a feature published Thursday ahead of her appearance at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

Earlier in the week, on Facebook’s “Red Table Talk,” the “Pynk” singer declared it a spiritual thing, saying, “I’m nonbinary, so I just don’t see myself as a woman ... solely. I feel like God is so much bigger than the he or the she. And if I am from God, I am everything.”


At the Festival of Books on Saturday, Monáe will speak about “The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer,” which dropped Tuesday.

Zooming in from the future, singer and actor Janelle Monáe explains why she expanded her album ‘Dirty Computer’ into a cyberpunk story collection.

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The style maven said she wrote the book to further explore themes introduced on “Dirty Computer,” an album released after Monáe identified as pansexual. The book is a five-story science-fiction collection that addresses queer themes, and each story is co-written with a different collaborating author.

“We wanted that to be clear we were celebrating queerness, celebrating being trans and nonbinary,” the “Hidden Figures” star told The Times. “We wanted to make sure we spoke about how beautiful it is to be able to embrace the spectrum of gender. And how beautiful it is for people to stand up for you even if they don’t identify the same way as you. “

Still, Monáe is holding firm on one personal stance: “I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women,” the “free-ass m—” said on “Red Table Talk.”

“But I just see everything that I am beyond the binary. When I see people, I see your energy first — I don’t see how you identify — and I feel like that opens you up to fall in love with any beautiful spirit.”

‘The Smith family has been focusing on deep healing,’ a statement read during an episode of ‘Red Table Talk,’ co-hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith.

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Tickets are still available — with or without a copy of “The Memory Librarian” included — for Monáe’s Ideas Exchange appearance at this weekend’s festival. L.A. Times columnist Erika D. Smith will join Monáe in conversation, starting at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at USC’s Bovard Auditorium.


Monáe is also speaking Friday night in Chicago, then her book tour continues Sunday in San Francisco before concluding in Seattle on Monday.