Celebrating QTPoC Love: An Appreciation of Janelle Monáe and Tessa Thompson

Earlier in April of this year, multi-hyphenate Janelle Monáe came out in a Rolling Stone interview, saying she has “been in relationships with both men and women,” and that she identifies as pansexual. Monáe’s sexual orientation been a source of speculation for quite some time, with many wondering if her friendship with actress Tessa Thompson is actually a secret romance. To everyone’s excitement, Thompson recently stated that she identifies as bisexual, and of Monáe, stated: "We love each other deeply. We’re so close, we vibrate on the same frequency."

Monáe and Thompson’s unabashed outness and love for one another, without outright declaring a romantic relationship, sends a powerful message to the young bisexuals and pansexual women of colour watching them. Too often, communities of colour make being queer a taboo, leading many queer brown kids into hiding.

Oftentimes, having to explicate the homophobia people of colour face can feel like throwing logs onto the fires of racism. You are either an example of your culture’s oppression or you become its single example of its queerness. Thompson and Monáe’s loving relationship, coupled with their pride in their respective identities validates to young queer people of colour that queerness and brownness are not mutually exclusive traits, and that finding home in yourself will get easier when you find other people who love you, for you.

Further reading:

Break The Mold (Net-A-Porter)

Janelle Monáe Frees Herself (Rolling Stone)

Premiere Of Paramount Pictures' "Annihilation" - Arrivals (Getty Images)


The Workshop @ The EFNIKS Daily is our writing program for young QTPoC writers. Each of the 5 writers identify as QTPoC, and are between the ages of 17 and 22. Program participants receive a $200 stipend for the 60-day program. You can help us build this and other EFNIKS programs by visiting our support page.