Janelle Monáe crowned Trailblazer of the year at Outfest Legacy Awards

The talented non-binary musician was revered for the incredible work that they have done for the LGBTQ+ community.

Janelle Monáe poses on the red carpet in a black and white sequin costume as she accepts the Trailblazer Award at Outfest
Image: Twitter via @janellemonae

The 40th annual Outfest Legacy Awards honoured Janelle Monáe with the Trailblazer Award on Saturday, October 22.

Outfest is a global LGBTQ+ arts, media and entertainment organisation that supports and empowers queer artists, including through its annual awards show that highlights the amazing work that has been done for the community. They have four awards: the Visionary Award, the Corporate Award, the Outfest Jonathan Howard Legacy Award, and the Trailblazer Award.

Outfest described Janelle Monáe as an “8-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, performer, and fashion icon” who is “known worldwide for her inimitable style and visionary sound, which celebrates the spectrum of identity.”

The non-binary celebrity is well-known for their success in the music industry, producing their two-time Grammy-nominated album Dirty Computer which features R&B anthems such as ‘I Like That’ and ‘Pynk’. However, they have also spread their talents into the film industry, where they are set to star in Netflix’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. In film, they have also appeared in Lionsgate’s Antebellum and Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. Their endeavours don’t end there, as they have also published their first book titled The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, a collaborative piece with other authors and artists talking about the importance of “how different threads of liberation—queerness, race, gender plurality, and love—become tangled with future possibilities of memory and time in such a totalitarian landscape.”


Janelle Monáe is also revered for the philanthropic work they have done for the LGBTQ+ community, claiming the Trevor Project’s Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award, as well as creating the Fem the Future initiative which empowers women in film and inspires femme creatives. With such an arsenal of accomplishments behind them, it is no surprise that Janelle Monáe was announced as the Trailblazer for this year’s Outfest Legacy Awards.

The 40th annual Outfest Legacy Awards were held on October 22, 2022, where the artist was presented with the accolade. They graced the stage in a stunning leather ensemble and tipped their black hat to the audience when accepting the award.

“I feel like I’m at my church tonight,” expressed Monáe in their acceptance speech. “I feel like I am in church and I am with people that feel me and see me and understand me… I’m just deeply humbled and just so thankful and at a loss for real words to match my feelings. So just accept my thank you. Thank you so much.”

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