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Tessa Thompson Comes Out, Says She and Janelle Monae Wrestle With Privacy vs. Visibility

Thompson spoke to Net-A-Reporter about her sexual identity and her relationship with Janelle Monáe, saying the two "love each other deeply."

Janelle Monae and Tessa Thompson

Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock

Tessa Thompson spoke publicly about her sexual identity for the first time in a new interview with Net-A-Reporter. The “Westworld” and “Sorry to Bother You” actress said she is “attracted to men and also to women” and spoke at length about her friend and collaborator, musician-actress Janelle Monáe.

Rumors about the two dating began after Thompson appeared in queer-friendly music videos for Monáe’s “Dirty Computer.” “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 said.

“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?”

Monáe came out as pansexual in an interview with Rolling Stone in April. “We love each other deeply, we’re so close,” Thompson said of her relationship with Monáe. “We vibrate on the same frequency. If people want to speculate about what we are, that’s okay. It doesn’t bother me.”

Thompson said her family supports her sexuality. “I’m attracted to men and also to women,” she said. “If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion.” But the actress admitted that her family’s support can make her “take things for granted” sometimes since other members of the LGBTQ community don’t have a similar support system.

Thompson just wrapped up the second season of “Westworld” and can be seen in Boots Riley’s Sundance smash “Sorry to Bother You” starting July 6. The actress is also a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe having played the warrior Valkyrie in last fall’s “Thor: Ragnarok.” Thompson made headlines for revealing the character is bisexual.

Click here to read the full interview with Tessa Thompson and/or download the Net-A-Porter app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

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