Janelle Monáe doesn’t let hateful laws take away her non-binary joy

Janelle Monáe wears a gold and black dress at the American Black Film Festival Honors.

Nobody can shake Janelle Monáe at the moment – they float to the beat of their own drum.

Since revealing that she identifies as a non-binary Monáe, using both she and sie pronouns, she has become a defiant voice for the community.

With bigoted legislation sweeping the US preventing trans and non-binary people from confirming their gender, it would be understandable if someone like Monáe felt helpless. Instead, she refuses to let the haters cloud her.

In a new interview with EBONY magazine, Monáe, 37, spoke about the increasing hostility towards queer people and particularly that being leveled at black queer people.

“We work in a world where the first reaction to being queer or transgender or non-binary is to question their existence or reality because [people have] heteronormative ways of life were taught,” they explained.

“We live in a world where they are making laws that are making us even talk about slavery, making us talk about LGBTQIA+ communities — as if the literal annihilation of our existence is still happening.”

While what is happening in states like Utah, Tennessee and Florida is devastating, Monáe has words of wisdom for those justifiably angry at the legislation.

“As upsetting as this is, I’m trying not to let this part of the world make me hard, make me cold, make me evil,” they shared.

“I have to actively give myself mantras and call my therapist about it, talk to people in my community. Community is everything for us. Dealing peacefully with such obstacles and finding joy, stealing joy—this requires daily practice.”

Don’t confuse those Glass onion: Knives out Stern rest for complacency, however. She may float her way to freedom as she identifies, but she is very keen to challenge those who try to place obstacles in her way.

Addressing hateful lawmakers directly, Monáe said: “For the people who are intentionally trying to wipe out non-binary or transgender people, it’s not my job to enlighten you any further.

“I will continue to advocate for and speak out against non-binary and transgender people in my community, in my family.”

Janelle Monáe wears a black suit jacket, white shirt and collar
Janelle Monae. (Victor Boyko/Getty for Christian Louboutin)

Monáe has previously championed the importance of listening to trans and non-binary people, and now they are also committed to better education about what it means to identify outside of the binary world.

Contrary to what some might think, non-binary people are not a new phenomenon.

“I don’t think there’s anything new about black people identifying as non-binary,” Monáe told EBONY Magzine.

“I think the language might have changed, but we can see throughout history who lived their lives as freea**muthaf**kas and didn’t conform to gender norms.

“For me, we need to keep talking,” they continued.

“It’s so important because our next generations of people who are having these conversations in school or in their communities need to be able to be as educated as possible and not speak out of ignorance, out of ignorance.”

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https://www.thepinknews.com/2023/03/10/janelle-monae-non-binary-anti-lgbtq-legislation/ Janelle Monáe doesn’t let hateful laws take away her non-binary joy

Adam Bradshaw

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