"I was so overcome with this profound sense of relief when I realized," actress Amandla Stenberg told Wonderland Magazine of coming out

By Dana Rose Falcone
June 18, 2018 03:36 PM
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Nothing but pride! Amandla Stenberg, who identifies as non-binary and came out as bisexual in 2016, confirmed in an interview with Wonderland Magazine that she is gay.

“I was so overcome with this profound sense of relief when I realized that I’m gay,” the actress, 19, told musician King Princess in an interview published on Monday. “Not bi, not pan[sexual], but gay — with a romantic love for women. All of the things that felt so internally contrary to my truest self were rectified as I unraveled a long web of denial and self-deprivation.”

She gushed on Instagram on Saturday, “So happy to say the words Yep, I’m Gay in official print.”

The Everything, Everything star recounted to Wonderland the difficulty she had navigating her sexuality as a child.

“Like oh, maybe there’s a reason why I kissed my best friends and felt ashamed growing up,” Stenberg said. “Or watched lesbian porn and masturbated (and more) with my friends at sleepovers. Or stifled a scream of horror the first time I saw a penis and had to convince myself with much internal strife that I was enjoying what was going down. Or could only find attraction towards gay men and femme boys who damn near had the sensibility of a woman. Or developed earth shattering, all consuming crushes on … GIRLS!”

Frazer Harrison/Getty

Stenberg claimed that if she was exposed to more LGBTQ representation in the media, she might’ve been able to discover her true self sooner.

“Had I had more representations of black gay women growing up, I probably would’ve come to conclusions around my sexuality much earlier because I would’ve had more of a conception of what was possible and okay,” she explained. “Having more representations of black gay women now and seeing myself reflected in them has been a huge aid in seeing myself as whole, complete and normal.”

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The Hunger Games alum does remember her first “lesbian crush,” though. “Mila Kunis was probably my first lesbian crush, besides that silver haired hoe Mirage from The Incredibles or Kristina Vidal’s punk ass in Freaky Friday,” Stenberg quipped.

The New York University student, appearing next in The Darkest Minds and The Hate U Give, ultimately feels appreciative for the experiences being part of the LGBTQ community have given her.

“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,” she continued to Wonderland. “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. It is the power to reveal the ethereal love that exists within us underneath socialisation. Once I was 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. 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.”