Janelle Monae Opens Up About Coming Out as Pansexual

Janelle Monae is on the cover of InStyle‘s third Badass Women issue, out on newsstands on July 19.

Here’s what the 33-year-old musician had to say…

On redefining the music industry: “I’ve always wanted to redefine what a cool young black woman looks like in the music industry. I was never interested in fitting into a system that wasn’t built for me or with me in mind. I’m interested in burning that s–t down and building something new.”

On embracing her uniqueness: “Embracing your uniqueness is an active choice. I don’t wake up looking flawless every morning. I don’t wake up feeling empowered. I don’t wake up feeling fearless. I have to actively choose to feel that way.” She adds with a laugh, “I’m like Issa Rae in Insecure, like, ‘Bitch, keep it together!’”

On coming out as pansexual: “I talked to my mom and dad first, and my mom, in particular, had a lot of questions. I said, ‘Mama, the only way that I can create art is to truthfully tell my story. It has to come from an honest place, and this is who I honestly am. I don’t know any other way. I have to talk about my sexuality. I have to talk about my blackness. I have to talk about my womanness. I have to talk about these things. This is who I am as a person.’”

For more from Janelle, head to InStyle.com.

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