Southern songstress Janelle Monáe recently clarified rumors surrounding her sexuality, revealing that she is pansexual, defined as someone not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender or gender identity.

“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 mother*cker,” she told Rolling Stone in June 2018. “Later, I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with, too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.”

Monáe is far from the first celebrity of color to come out as pansexual or to proudly identify as a member of the LGBTQ community. Check out these other stars who have embraced their true selves below.

Lena Waithe 

The immensely talented Emmy winner has been out and proud her entire career, refusing to sacrifice her identity for any role or position, and why should she? Keep making us proud, sis!



The Oakland, California native has dated men and women in the public eye, including fellow singer PartyNextDoor and artist Shaina Negron. After an onstage kiss with Demi Lovato, the songstress confirmed that she is a proud queer woman living and loving whomever she chooses.

EJ Johnson 

With the support of his loving and accepting parents, Magic and Cookie Johnson, EJ has been living in his fabulous truth for years, often seen hitting the scene in the latest designer duds and turning up with his fellow "Rich Kids." We see you!

Jussie Smollett

'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett reveals he's gay on 'Ellen'

The Empire actor took television by storm during the show's initial season, introducing the world to Jamal Lyon, an R&B star who happens to be gay. Much of his storyline spoke to the experiences of LGBTQ people of color attempting to navigate the industry, much like the man himself.

Rutina Wesley

The Queen Sugar star is engaged to New Orleans' own chef Shonda, proudly breaking the news of their love via Instagram. 

Laverne Cox 

Redefining Womanhood laverne cox

Cox has been carrying the torch for the LBGT community for years now, becoming the first trans actress to be nominated for an Emmy, for her role on Netflix's Orange Is the New Black.

Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts

The Good Morning America host officially came out in 2013, thanking “longtime girlfriend Amber” for supporting her through the blood marrow transplant process.

Don Lemon 

While the CNN staple was open about his sexuality with friends and colleagues, the on-air personality officially came out in his 2011 book, Transparent. 

Lee Daniels 

lee daniels

Daniels pulled from many of his own experiences as a young, gay Black man for hit series Empire, and is an out and proud advocate. He also created an unprecedented amount of characters representing the LGBTQ community long before it was acceptable to do so.

Syd the Kid

As leading lady of R&B collective The Internet, Syd has expressed her love for the female form and has been living her truth as a queer woman since her days as Odd Future's resident DJ.