Janelle Monae honors women and dedicates GRAMMY noms to “trans brothers and sisters”

(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Janelle Monae shared some wise words during Instagram’s Fem the Future Brunch on Friday. The artist and activist who is nominated for Album of the Year for Dirty Computer spoke candidly to the crowd when she took the podium at the inspiring event that honored women in the industry.

“They say that every time a group of talented, smart, kickass women and allies come together for positive, tangible change, an angel gets her wings,” said the artist who founded Fem the Future four years ago.

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“I don’t know if it’s true or not. But what I do know is when we get together, we move closer to a more inclusive future. This isn’t a trend, this isn’t a fleeting moment but a critical time in our history where the only way out is going forward.”

Monae noted the shift in representation of women at the GRAMMYs this year, but acknowledged there’s still along way to go in the fight for equality.

“While we have made progress. We have not arrived, we have a lot more work to do,” Monae said. “Last year, I remember taking that stage and you can feel my frustration around our representation and this year, to have 15 women nominated in the big four categories is a beautiful thing and it’s to be celebrated.”

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She also explained why this year’s nomination were especially important to her.

“That’s why it meant so much to be to be nominated. I think, for years, I have watched these shows and I have not seen that representation..The fact that ‘Dirty Computer’ is an album that is about me and also about a community of marginalized voices, the fact that that got nominated, that means the world to me.”

Janelle Monae said she’s dedicating her two nominations to the trans community.

“My trans brother and sisters, they do it every day. And they are shunned from these sorts of events. So this one is for them,” she said.

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“My goal has never been to fit into any type of category. And when you color outside the lines, and then you say, ‘Hey, also, I’m a queer black woman,’ some people can be a little afraid of that,” Monae said. “And what that means and how do you market that and all those things. But it wasn’t about that to me. [It’s about] walking in your truth.”

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