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

Janelle Monáe

Singer Janelle Monáe revealed she was ‘terrified’ when she came out as queer last year.

Monáe was honored as the first cover star of the digital Condé Nast LGBTI publication them. Fellow artist and rapper Lizzo interviewed Monáe and they spoke about queer identities, acceptance, Monáe’s career, and more.

When Lizzo told Monáe people were ‘lit to know that you were queer as fuck’, Monáe responded simply: ‘I was terrified.’

Last April, she came out in Rolling Stone.

‘Being a queer black woman in America… someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker,’ she told the publication at the time.

Though many people celebrated her coming out and welcomer her into the LGBTI community with enthusiasm and open arms, it was still a anxious time for Monáe.

‘I thought people were gonna say, “Oh, she’s doing this as a publicity stunt,”‘ she told Lizzo.

‘I thought I wasn’t gonna be able to go back home and be at all the barbecues. […] And a lot of it was just untrue. It was my fear of what people were gonna say. And I’m thankful that I didn’t allow that fear to get in the way of my freedom.’

A journey to acceptance

Monáe said discovering new parts of herself is a journey, and not a destination.

‘That’s what I love about life. It takes us on journeys that not even we ourselves sometimes are prepared for,’ she said. ‘You just adapt to where you are and how you’ve evolved as a free thinking person.’

After growing up in the midwest, she said she had to have many conversations about her sexuality.

‘After I had those conversations with myself and I saw a therapist, I had to be able to talk about what it meant to identify as bisexual.’

She continued, explaining the questions she asked of herself: ‘What does that mean? How would discovering that impact the relationship I was in at the time? How do I talk about it with my family […] go back to my church? The bottom line is I had to have conversations with myself and the folks that love and care about me, and realize they may not understand what it means for me to be a person who identifies as queer in this world.’

Inspiring others

In the most recent season of Queer Eye, one of the season’s heroes was a young, black lesbian named Jess. In the episode, Jess said Monáe was an inspiration to her.

Monáe told Lizzo what hearing that meant to her: ‘Man, the fact that my album has reached another young black woman like her, and it’s helped her in her life, it makes me feel like I’m walking in my purpose and it’s really what I’m supposed to be doing.’

She added: ‘To be young, queer, and black in America means that you can be misunderstood. You can be hated. It also means that you can be celebrated and loved. And I think there’s a lot at stake when you’re living out loud in that way.

‘One thing I’ve realized even more was that when you walk in your truth, you can inspire and encourage people to walk in theirs’.’

Monáe also gave advice to young people discovering themselves, including having patience and not making decisions based in fear.

‘I think there’s so much power in not labeling yourself. That said, there’s also power in saying “This is how I identify,” and having community with the folks you identify with,’ she said.

‘Everyone is on a journey of self-discovery, and those of us who may not understand others’ journeys should be more empathetic and tolerant and supportive.’

See also

Ariana Grande’s ‘f**k you’ to anti-LGBTI Coachella owner during historic performance

Janelle Monáe to play Dorothy Pitman Hughes in upcoming Gloria Steinem biopic

Janelle Monáe gives powerful speech: ‘I come in peace, but I mean business’

Author: Anya Crittenton

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Star of LGBTI Broadway musical comes out, says she’s dating a woman

Caitlin Kinnunen from the Broadway musical The Prom

Broadway star Caitlin Kinnunen came out in an interview with Nylon magazine, which she shared on her Instagram account.

While discussing her role in the new hit musical The Prom, Kinnunen says she ‘idenfitied as a straight ally for a very long time’ but she’s now dating a woman.

The Prom, with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Beguelin and Bob Martin, opened on Broadway last October.

It follows Indiana high school student Emma (Kinnunen) who got her senior prom cancelled because she wanted to attend with another girl as her date.

Meanwhile, in New York, four down on their luck Broadway stars hear about Emma’s story. They decide to travel to Indiana in support of her — and as an opportunity to improve their careers.

In the video below, Kinnunen discusses both the show and her sexuality.

‘Magical and new’

‘The Prom is an important story to tell, because it’s still happening today,’ Kinnunen says in the video.

Just this year, a Mississippi high school banned any same-sex guests from prom. Last year in Alabama, two same-sex students were suspended for wanting to go to prom together. Fortunately, public criticism eventually pressured the school to allow them to attend prom together.

‘It’s wonderful that kids get to come and see this show and see themselves represented on stage in a way that they haven’t been before.’

While speaking about playing the character of Emma, Kinnunen opens up about herself.

‘I take playing Emma very seriously,’ she explained. ‘I’ve always wanted to play her as vulnerable and honest and strong. There are definitely parts of me that are exactly similar to Emma.’

She adds that playing Emma has given her ‘courage’.

On dating a woman, Kinnunen says: ‘It is magical and new and exciting, and I’m loving it.’

Via social media and at the stage door, Kinnunen expresses her gratitude for everyone’s positive responses to the show. She wants more people to see it so they can have ‘hope and excitement about the future’.

See also

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade airs its ‘first ever’ lesbian kiss

Creator of gay musical The Prom personally invites Mike Pence to show

Broadway star Ben Platt comes out in poignant music video

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post Star of LGBTI Broadway musical comes out, says she’s dating a woman appeared first on Gay Star News.

Viral Phenom Greyson Chance Talks About Coming Out as Gay with Ellen, 9 Years After Appearing on Her Show at Age 12: WATCH

Ellen featured singer-songwriter Greyson Chance at age 12 when a YouTube video of him playing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” went viral.

FLASHBACK: YouTube ‘Paparazzi’ Phenom Grayson Chance Appears on Ellen, Gets Call from ‘Miss Gaga’

Now he’s 21, and returned to Ellen after leaving the music industry for a while and talked about his return to music

Greyson publicly came out at 19 and told Ellen that

“I was so blessed. I didn’t have any issues of coming out to family and friends. I wanted to make sure that it didn’t seem like I was trying to profit off my sexuality as a means of getting more fame and popularity and so I waited until I felt confident and posted up an Instragram message and felt like that was the right thing to do.”

“There was this guy from Arkansas and he told me his story and how he was going to have a much more difficult time than I ever did coming out to his family and at the end of the message he put, ‘You know I know you’re not gay, but I just wanted you to know that your music really inspires me.’ I looked at myself after that and I was like ‘c’mon kid, find that courage to do it, find that confidence.’

Greyson said it was then that he sat down after boarding a plane, wrote his coming out message, and hit send, and then “landed to chaos.”

Greyson last week released the video for “yours”.

The post Viral Phenom Greyson Chance Talks About Coming Out as Gay with Ellen, 9 Years After Appearing on Her Show at Age 12: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.