Pride month might be over but that doesn’t make this coming-out story any less inspiring. Tessa Thompson has been throwing hints at being bi-sexual for a while now but she recently confirmed it in a profile interview with Net-A-Porter that has the internet beyond excited. The Sorry to Bother You and West World actress got real honest about her sexuality and even addressed rumors of her dating good friend and singer, Janelle Monáe.
In the interview, Thompson starts off by explaining her tightly-knit relationship with bestie Monáe. She begins by celebrating her 2018 album Dirty Computer, where Thompson made an appearance in the 48-minute video album slash. In the video the two play lovers. There’s even a scene where Thompson is seen poking her head through Monáe’s vagina trousers—hence where the dating rumors began. But she doesn’t necessarily confirm if the two are an official item or not. One thing that’s clear though, is that these two definitely do love each other.
“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 says while also confirming her bi-sexual identity. “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.”
Thompson clearly comes from a loving and accepting family who has probably known for a while that she’s bi. But she goes on to explain why she was so careful about coming out to the public about her sexual orientation.
“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,” she says. “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?”
She goes on to express her feelings for Monáe. “Janelle and I love each other DEEPLY. We’re so close, we vibrate on the same FREQUENCY. If people want to SPECULATE about what we are, it doesn’t bother me,” she says.
The Afro-Latina who has a Panamanian father and a mother who is half Mexican and half white, is in a good place with herself and her identity, though it took quite the journey to get there. She also admits that her fascination with identity played a huge role in her interest in acting.
“I guess I’ve always been conscious of the ways in which identity is a creation,” she says. “I could tuck all my hair into a cap, and suddenly people would treat me differently because they’d assume I was a boy. I think maybe that’s what attracted me to acting. I would look at people and wonder how they made themselves.”
We’re proud of Thompson for being so raw and honest about her sexuality. Hopefully it inspires others to confidently and comfortably come out and own their identity as well.