‘Homecoming’ Star Janelle Monáe Is Nonbinary: What Pronoun Does Monáe Use?

After coming out as pansexual in 2018, Janelle Monáe came out as nonbinary on Jan. 10. Monáe tweeted #IAmNonbinary when the term was trending on Twitter. Monáe promoted season 2 of Amazon Prime’s series Homecoming on Jan. 14 so the press got to follow up with about the statement. 

Janelle Monae: Homecoming
Janelle Monáe | Ali Goldstein/Amazon Studios

RELATED: ‘Homecoming’: Why Did Janelle Monáe Replace Julia Roberts in Season 2?

Monáe joins the cast of Homecoming as a new character in season 2, playing Jackie, an apparent military veteran who wakes up with no memories. Homecoming is full of secrets and the cast wasn’t very forthcoming about the plot of the new season, but Monáe was more open about discussing nonbinary status. Homecoming Season 2 is now available on Amazon Prime.

When we write about ‘Homecoming,’ Janelle Monáe has no nonbinary pronoun preference 

Some nonbinary people may prefer the pronouns they/them/their. Showbiz Cheat Sheet asked Monáe specifically which pronoun we should use when writing about this interview.

“You can use whatever pronoun you like,” Monáe said. “Whatever makes you comfortable. I think that for me, being able to educate and have more conversation around what it means to be nonbinary is within and of itself important.”

We would use whichever pronoun Monáe asked us to but there was no preference. 

Janelle Monáe isn’t only nonbinary when it comes to gender 

Monáe first and foremost sent the tweet in solidary with nonbinary people. However, Monáe related to the difficulties in categorizing oneself as one or the other in her art too.

Homecoming: Janelle Monae
Janelle Monáe | Ali Goldstein/Amazon Studios

RELATED: Julia Roberts Isn’t in ‘Homecoming’ Season 2, but She Hasn’t Cut Ties With the Show Just Yet

My intentions were to be supportive of the non-binary community. It was Non-Binary Day, and since we are here and I have to talk about it, I’ve never lived my life in a binary way. I defy every label and the truth is I’ve always tried to get rid of all those things, any labels, and just work on my journey, wherever that may be, but I do feel like I am an experience. I am on that self-discovery, and I just want to continue to show love to everyone who chooses to live outside of the binary.

Janelle Monáe, Television Critics Association panel, 1/14/2020

Even before Monáe came out as pansexual or nonbinary, Monáe was a force in both the music world and the move world. Acting and music, too, are nonbinary arts.

“I don’t live my life in a binary way,” Monae said. “There’s nothing that I tell myself you need to do first or second, I think music has been a great vehicle, it’s been the vehicle, but not the destination, and I will continue to tell stories that I think need to be told.”

How Janelle Monáe end up on ‘Homecoming’

Julia Roberts played Homecoming therapist Heidi Bergman in season 1. Her story was complete and Roberts did not return, but she is still an executive producer of the show. That freed up the story to create a new character, and for Monáe to play that character.

L-R: Stephan James and Janelle Monáe | Ali Goldstein/Amazon Studios

RELATED: The Biggest Questions for Amazon’s ‘Homecoming’ Heading Into Season 2

I think when I saw Season 1 and I listened to the podcast, I was a fan. When I had the opportunity to be a part of this show, I said hell yeah, and I moved my schedule around and I made it happen. It’s just been an honor to work with Kyle [Patrick Alvaerz] and Hong [Chau] and Stephan [James] and Sam [Esmail] and Eli [Horowitz] and Micah [Bloomberg] and also the Julia Roberts, who is executive-producing [and] to join this family, and to push myself as an artist to give the best performance that I possibly can. It’s been fun. These are good people outside of like us being scene partners and doing the work, but outside of that, it’s just great to work with just good people.

Janelle Monáe, Television Critics Association panel, 1/14/2020