Guitarist and composer Meshell Ndegeocello is releasing a new album called Comet Come to Me; in a recent interview she questioned society’s labels regarding her sexuality and how those definitions are used to identify not only her but also her music. She's not a fan.
Here’s an excerpt from Ndegeocello’s chat with The BoomBox (3:07):
I’ve come up with a new term; I’m sexually functional with both genders, I just choose to be with this particular one. Who knows what the future holds?
It’s such a weird concept to me that it’s so important to how you judge my music or my character or anything about me. I’m never assuming what heterosexual people are doing.
When it comes to making music, you don’t have to talk and [as musicians] you all have this one thing that you have the information to bring to life. That’s real special to me. Everyone has their own interpretation.
[Making music] is the only time I feel gender-less or race-less. I just feel at ease because you have this one thing to concentrate on. It’s hard to explain but it’s a nice feeling.
Ndegeocello’s statement is interesting because her opinions on labeling sexuality echo what Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, said when the press repeatedly asked about her sexuality during her husband’s campaign trail last year. In 1979, the Big Apple’s First Lady wrote an op-ed in Essence magazine entitled "I Am a Lesbian" to bring awareness and voice to those in the African American community without much visibility back then, and some would argue, even today. Mrs. McCray went on to marry Mr. de Blasio twenty-two years ago and the couple have two children, Chiara and Dante (he of the legendary afro).
Here’s what Mrs. McCray said when asked whether she considers herself bisexual:
I am more than just a label. Why are people so driven to labeling where we fall on the sexual spectrum? Labels put people in boxes, and those boxes are shaped like coffins. Finding the right person can be so hard that often, when a person finally finds someone she or he is comfortable with, she or he just makes it work. As my friend Vanessa says, "It's not whom you love; it's that you love."
And here’s what she said when asked if she is still attracted to women:
I'm married, I'm monogamous, but I'm not dead and [laughs] Bill isn't either. I know my husband loves me fiercely and passionately. I know he supports me and will always stand up for me.
Love and let love, no?