Madison Vanderberg
June 29, 2018 10:57 am

Tessa Thompson and Janelle Monáe have long been rumored to be dating: Thompson has appeared in several of Monáe’s music videos, including the most recent, “Pynk,” and the two artists often attend events together. But they’ve always kept their status very close to the vest. In a new interview with Porter Edit, Thompson cut through the noise and said they “love each other deeply,” though they both struggle with how public to be with their relationship.

“We love each other deeply, we’re so close. We vibrate on the same frequency,” Thompson told Porter Edit about her and Monáe. “If people want to speculate about what we are, that’s okay. It doesn’t bother me.”

The two have reportedly been together since 2015. Thompson knows that fans wildly speculate about her and Monáe, but she says their number one struggle is whether their privacy is more important than using their relationship as a form of queer visibility.

“It’s tricky, because Janelle and I are just really private people and we’re both trying to navigate how you reconcile wanting to have that privacy and space, and also wanting to use your platform and influence,” she explained. “I can take things for granted because of my family — it’s so free and you can be anything that you want to be. I’m attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion. That was something I was conscientious of in terms of this declaration around Janelle and myself. 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?”

Whether they’ll go more public as a unit or not, both women are already hugely influential — Monáe’s entire music career is a feminist and queer socio-political statement, and Thompson’s starring roles in Monáe’s videos only adds to their resonance.

“I get text messages from friends that are like, ‘Would you please let Janelle know I came out to my family because of her?’” Thompson shared. “I think that work is really helping people and probably saving some lives.”

However public or private Thompson and Monáe choose to be, these are two badass, progressive, and talented women, and we are lucky to have them.

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