Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg spoke candidly about their sexual orientation during an interview with Wonderland Magazine published on Monday, June 16 — and didn’t hold back.
“Yep, I’m gay,” the 19-year-old revealed to the publication before elaborating on what they love about it.
“Where do I start? I’m grateful for how being gay has afforded me this ability to experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way,” they continued, adding that “the continual process of unlearning heteronormativity and internalised homophobia can be difficult, but one of the biggest blessings lies in the magic that comes from having to understand love outside the confines of learned heterosexual roles.”
The Everything, Everything star noted that once they were “able to rid myself of those parameters, I found myself in a deep well of unbounded and untouchable love free from the dominion of patriarchy.”
They added: “My sexuality is not a byproduct of my past experiences with men, who I have loved, but rather a part of myself I was born with and love deeply.”
As for when they realized they were gay, Stenberg recalls having moments where they broke down in tears. “One might assume that they were mournful sobs, but actually quite the opposite in my lived experience,” they said.
“They were joyful and overwhelmed sobs – socialisation is a bitch and a half and kept me from understanding and living my truth for a while,” Stenberg continued. “I was so overcome with this profound sense of relief when I realized that I’m gay – not bi, not pan, but gay – with a romantic love for women.”
The interview comes more than two years after Stenberg revealed in a January 2016 video that they were bisexual.
“It’s a really, really hard thing to be silenced and it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t in,” Stenberg said at the time. “As someone who identifies as a black, bisexual woman, I’ve been through it and it hurts and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable.”
After coming out as bisexual, Stenberg revealed their preferred pronouns, noting that “they/them makes me feel comfortable,” according to Teen Vogue.