Tessa Thompson, star of Westworld and the upcoming movie Sorry to Bother You, recently sat down with Net-a-Porter for an interview in which she discussed her sexual identity for the first time. Rumors about her relationship with Janelle Monáe have been circulating for quite some time, but peaked earlier this year when Thompson appeared as Monáe’s love interest and in otherwise highly suggestive scenes throughout Monaé’s emotion picture Dirty Computer released earlier this year.
“I’m attracted to men and also to women,” Thompson said. “If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion,” she added. Thompson’s family is supportive, but she’s aware that’s a privilege. “That was something I was conscientious of in terms of this declaration around Janelle and myself,” she said. “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?”
Thompson’s words echo Monáe’s in her Rolling Stone cover story from April when she came out as pansexual, calling herself “a free-ass motherfucker.” She dedicated her newest album, Dirty Computer, to the “young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves.”
Monáe has repeatedly avoided mentioning Thompson directly in interviews, but Thompson did explicitly name Monáe in the Net-a-Porter talk, even if she didn’t outright define their relationship. “We love each other deeply, we’re so close,” Thompson said of Monáe. “We vibrate on the same frequency. If people want to speculate about what we are, that’s okay. It doesn’t bother me.”
Elsewhere in the chat she said: “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,” Thompson added.
To read the rest of Thompson’s interview, head over to Net-a-Reporter.