Janelle Monáe's cover story with Rolling Stone produced a brilliant moment in which she set aside her guard, and described the separation of her identity, her persona, and the overlapping role the two play in her shift towards "self-love." Monáe is often reduced to a vaudeville act in eyes of the hip hop community. Somewhere in time, the question of her gender and sexuality came into view, and for obvious reasons, Janelle felt no need to clear any misconceptions. She owed nobody an explanation for her androgynous looks or her claim to privacy. The looming questions had the effect of creating a personification all her own, adding great affect to her already unique revivalist chic.

Monáe cited Prince for his role in shaping her world view and her sexual identity, as have many others. Janelle was lucky to count Prince as her mentor; she reflected on his passing summing it up as losing a conductor in mid journey. On the subject of her sexuality, Monáe hearkened back to her childhood in a Baptist household, when describing her journey as a Queer Black woman in America. Monáe noted that on songs such as "Mushrooms & Roses" and "Q.U.E.E.N." (originally titled "Q.U.E.E.R.") she expressed tinges of what she now describes as her "Pansexuality." Monáe initially identified as Bisexual but soon changed her tune after reading up on Pansexuality. She realized she was "open to learning more about who (she was)." For Monáe and many others who identify as Pan, sexuality is fluid and free from idea & form. You can read the entire story here.