Actor Amandla Stenberg is happy to say that she’s gay, “Not bi, not pan, but gay—with a romantic love for women.” In 2016, she opened up about identifying as non-binary and being more comfortable with pronouns like them and they. But, for the first time in an interview with King Princess for Wonderland, Amandla came out as gay.
Amandla explained, “All of the things that felt so internally contrary to my true self were rectified as I unraveled a long web of denial and self deprivation.” But after coming out, “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.”
However, she also shared the actions that need to take place, “The continual process of unlearning heteronormativity and internalized 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.” After she was able to do that, “I found myself in a deep well of unbounded and untouchable love free from the dominion of patriarchy. 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.”
Growing up, Amandla looked up to queer icons. “I felt empowered by the nature of Frida Kahlo’s fluidity and just the idea that I could love women the way she did.” Amandla’s friend Syd from the band The Internet also served as inspiration. “Her pride in being gay was something that was so alluring and elusive to me simultaneously. I would get choked up around her, and sometimes I still do—she was and is one of the only very visible and proud, black, gay women in media.”
Now that Amandla identifies as gay, we’re sure she too will inspire other young girls who are struggling with their own identity. More power to you, Amandla.