Janelle Monáe continued The Age of Pleasure rollout with a special appearance at the LA Pride Festival & Parade over the weekend. Also performing songs from their fourth album, Monáe, who uses both she/her and they/them pronouns, gave a joyful speech dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community.
“We are here, we are queer! We are trans! We are the LGBTQIA+ community and we celebrate us right now! We celebrate all that we are from all different walks of life. We protect each other,” she said. “We use our privilege to protect those who don’t have any. We use our voice. We use and exercise our right to vote to protect our trans family! […] We protect Black folks here. We protect brown and Black. All of us protect each other. We love each other and we create safe spaces for each other, ’cause there’s no pleasure without safety. So thank you for this safe space right now. I love you so much!”
The speech also follows Monáe’s interview on NBC4 Washington, where they were asked how to respond to queer and trans injustices.
“You respond by fighting back, by speaking out against, standing with our trans community, my siblings,” they said. “As a nonbinary, queer, pansexual person, I am proud to be in this community. I will never sit back and be silent about the injustices that are happening against our trans community.”
The Art of Pleasure, which was released last Friday (June 9), features Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 (“Float”), Doechii (“Phenomenal”), Grace Jones (“Ooh La La”), Amaarae and Nia Long (“The Rush”), Sister Nancy (“The French 75”), and CKay (“Know Better”). Beginning on August 30, Monáe will embark on the 26-date The Age of Pleasure Tour, which begins in Seattle and ends in Inglewood.