Story at a glance

  • Monae joins a growing list of celebrities who have rejected the gender binary.
  • This follows a 2018 announcement that Monae identifies as pansexual.
  • The artist has long been an activist for LGBTQ+ rights and representation.

Musician and actress Janelle Monae recently appeared to come out to the world as nonbinary in a single tweet, becoming the most recent celebrity in a growing list to announce their gender nonconforming identity.

On Friday, the “Dirty Computer” artist retweeted a GIF of a nonbinary character from "Steven Universe" with the caption “Are you a boy or girl? I’m an experience.”


While Monae didn’t add any other details, it seemed clear to fans that the artist was coming out as nonbinary, although there’s been no clarification as to whether it was Monae tweeting about her own identify, or showing solidarity with nonbinary people. 

Several celebrities who have opened up about their non-conforming identity, including “Stay With Me” singer Sam Smith, “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness, “Pose” star Indya Moore and “Billions” star Asia Kate Dillon.

To be gender nonbinary means someone feels like they do not fit in the traditional male or female category or conform to gender stereotypes. Many people with nonbinary prefer the pronouns “they” and “them.”

Published on Jan 15, 2020