"I’m 45 now and I’ve had a lot of experiences, and the gender thing is very difficult sometimes – not because I experience bigotry towards my gender per se, but more trying to uphold ideas of what people think my gender should look like or be like or do. When I play music, it’s the only time I can let go of those things – the feeling of making music together as just humans. Which isn’t something I feel too often out in the world."
"I really do believe that embedded in a mistake is the next new idea, which is to me a metaphor for life and for death. That thing that kills a piece will grant life to another body of work. And the longer you live, the closer you come to dying, and the more you have to keep generating new ideas and new reasons to be here, to be useful, to be important, to be a living being."
— Wangechi Mutu
"It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on this earth as though I had a right to be here."
"Take time and courage to find your passion. Test it and then follow it. Never build a business based on the desire to make big money. It won’t bring success or fulfillment to your life. Only following your true passion will give you enough power to break through and become successful in what you do. Without it, you may end up building a mediocre career doing boring things."
"I’m not qualified to judge anyone. If you listen to the lyrics of Q.U.E.E.N, there’s a question being asked. “Is it peculiar that she twerk in the mirror?” These are things that women need to ask themselves. They need to ask themselves, “Are we in control of our bodies? Are we trying to make money and bring attention using our bodies? What types of things can we do to promote more or less misogyny, or less sexism? How can we really fight against those stereotypes and those shackles that men and women have placed on us? What can we do to help the next generation of young girls? How can we redefine what it means to be sexy?” I definitely consider myself a feminist and a “womanist”, and I want to redefine the whole notion of what sexy is. I want to fight against sexism and to help nurture the female and the female body."
— Janelle Monáe
"Assimilation into the ruling class does not undo the structures that oppress people. For me, gay marriage is a distraction from issues that unite queer people with other marginalized folks. Dealing with the way that homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism, impact education, health care, housing, and employment would be a more useful endeavor than symbolic songs like “Same Love.” Marriage is an institution that affords people all kinds of benefits in our country and for me, the question is why those benefits are only available through this one act; why can’t everybody just have what they need, regardless of whether they are married or not?"