“Watching Monáe on the Academy Awards’ stage wearing Mr. Rogers’ cardigan, singing first his theme song then an amazing rendition of Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing’ with Billy Porter during Black History Month, was the year’s best performance — and one of the only things I remember from pre-pandemic 2020,” Diane Anderson-Minshall, Pride Media CEO and editorial director, says. “That she insisted on reminding audiences around the globe that she was a queer Black artist was proof of how far we’ve come, not just in entertainment but also in representation. But Monáe is more than a showstopper, she’s really one of the most critical and empathetic voices coming out of Hollywood these days, using her own time at the pulpit to lift other voices, calling out the work of others who may never have a microphone of their own.”
In the Out100 issue, Monáe addresses the significance of celebrating being a Black queer artist.
“I knew because of my art, I would have to talk about these things,” she says. “So that put more pressure on me. The most important thing was me having conversations with my family. It was important that my family be reintroduced, not to the little girl they grew up knowing that they called ‘pumpkin’ or they knew was into this or into that, but they knew who I was today — that they knew that I was a free-ass motherf—er.”
She also speaks of her latest single, “Turntables”: “We are in the middle of watching tables turn, boomerangs booming back, and the rooster coming home to roost. White supremacy and racism, and those who abuse their power, we’re seeing the people tearing it down. ‘Turntable’ is just adding energy to the movement,” she says, adding, “There’s a lot of fatigue emotionally around protesting, around going online and asking people to vote, or asking people to sign a petition. There’s fatigue that happens, but we’re not giving up.”
See Monáe’s cover below, and find out more about the Out100 at Out.com. The full list will be revealed on Thursday, Nov. 19.