Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Remember that date. It marked a historic moment in your beautifully intersectional identity as a bisexual Black woman.
Perhaps you didn’t know this day was going to be anything beyond the 53rd day of 2018–and another dreaded day under the 45th president. But on said day, you watched Janelle Monáe’s music video for Make Me Feel. The video was everything that gives the White House and 46.1 percent of Americans a fright: queers, Blacks and queer Blacks.
Monáe simultaneously dropped the music video alongside the visuals for her other newly released single, Django Jane.
Once you were done watching the aforementioned video, you surely didn’t think it could get more enthralling than a rapping Monáe. You thought you’d walk away from Thursday having only gained a bomb Black female empowerment anthem. (Which is still spectacularly uplifting in its own right–but you simply didn’t expect your sexual preferences to also get a four-minute shout-out as well).
Make Me Feel is a love ballad that’s already inspired comparisons to pop legend Prince. While that’s immensely respectable, we don’t care to pay attention to that aspect. Not today. Because today we saw what is arguably the most feminized and sexualized Monáe you’d ever seen. And she’s seductively shimmying as she puts on for your ever-so-fluctuating sexuality.
Throughout the video, Monáe unapologetically embodies bisexuality. When she simultaneously teases her goodies to a random man and Tessa Thompson, she emboldens those of us who have found that our attractions weren’t dictated by anatomical make-up. For those who are or were once perplexed by the absence of an actual sexual preference, the video is affirming.
Make Me Feel draws from one of the most iconic episodes of Netflix’s Black Mirror series in which two women find eternal love upon meeting younger versions of themselves. “San Junipero” is the series’ queerest episode, a unique love story and it makes the video all the more powerful. Echoing the video’s story-line after the show may not have been Monáe’s intention when writing the song. But with lyrics like “I can’t help it!…That’s just the way that I feel” and “It’s like I’m powerful with a little bit of tender/ An emotional, sexual bender,” the bisexual innuendos certainly were part of the original agenda.
One can’t help but to be amazed by the mere thought that while they were enjoying a Wednesday wine-down (which is grossly simplistic in retrospect), Monáe and Thompson were somewhere being filmed while sharing a phallic lollipop.
Aside from simply representing for bisexual Black girls, there’s another element about the artist that makes these visuals even more empowering: Monáe has never declared her sexuality, so it may be safe to say the reclusive 32-year-old isn’t using sexual preferences as a marketing ploy. She’s simply expressing herself. And that (plus equality) is all the LGBT community has ever wanted.
Watch the Make Me Feel video below: