QUEER VOICES

Tessa Thompson: Janelle Monáe And I 'Love Each Other Deeply'

In an interview with Porter magazine, the actress said she is “attracted to men and also to women.”

Tessa Thompson spoke for the first time about her sexuality and her much-discussed relationship with singer-actress Janelle Monáe in a candid interview published Friday.

In a cover story in Porter magazine, a publication of the luxury retailer Net-a-Porter, the “Dear White People” and “Thor: Ragnarok” actress said she and Monáe “love each other deeply.” However, she stopped short of giving their relationship a label.

“We’re so close, we vibrate on the same frequency,” Thompson explained. “If people want to speculate about what we are, it doesn’t bother me.”

Media conjecture about the nature of Thompson and Monáe’s relationship has been rampant for some time. In February, Monáe appeared to wink at the rumors in the music video for “Make Me Feel,” a cut from her latest album, “Dirty Computer.” That clip, which has been interpreted as a musical celebration of bisexuality, featured scenes of the two women dancing suggestively in a nightclub.

Thompson also said she is “attracted to men and also to women.”

“I can take things for granted because of my family ― it’s so free and you can be anything that you want to be,” she said. “If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion.”

Describing herself and Monáe as “just really private people,” she added: “I want everyone else to have that freedom and support that I have from my loved ones. But so many people don’t. So, do I have a responsibility to talk about that? Do I have a responsibility to say in a public space that this is my person?” 

Thompson’s remarks come just weeks after Monáe came out as queer in a Rolling Stone cover story. At the time, Monáe told the magazine she identifies with aspects of pansexuality and bisexuality. 

“Being a queer black woman in America ― someone who has been in relationships with both men and women ― I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker,” she said. 

Though Monáe initially identified as bisexual, she added, “Later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’”

Elsewhere in the Porter interview, Thompson credited Monáe with “helping people and probably saving some lives” by coming out. 

“I get text messages from friends that are like, ‘Would you please let Janelle know I came out to my family because of her?’” she said. 

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