Dove Cameron on 'Special' First Pride Month Since Coming Out Publicly: 'There's a Lot of Emotion'
Dove Cameron publicly came out as bisexual during an Instagram Live last year, recently revealing that the label of "queer" works best for her
The 25-year-old Descendants actress recently opened up about the reaction online after she came out publicly, telling Entertainment Tonight that she has been out as bisexual to her loved ones for years but only last year shared that with fans.
Cameron came out as bisexual during an Instagram Live in 2020, then — as the cover star of Gay Times' summer issue this year — explained that "queer" is a more fitting label for her.
"I have been out in my own personal life ever since I can remember," she told ET. "I think the first time I had a conversation about my sexuality, I was like 8 years old with my mom. Anybody who I've met since then ... I've said I'm bi ... and it's just been like, 'Oh, okay.' Nobody's ever been like, 'What?!' ... I don't think it's a big shock once you get to know me, really. When I came out last year, I really was like, 'Oh great, there it is.' "
Now that the world knows Cameron's authentic self, she said she is looking forward to making the most of her first Pride Month since opening up publicly.
"This is going to be my first Pride Month like really, really out," said the Disney Channel star. "My friend texted me the other day and was like, 'This month is for you,' and I was like, 'Oh... wow.' There's a lot of emotion around my coming out that I didn't really anticipate because I've always been out in my private life. ... I knew I was going to come out, but it's different."
Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.
"I feel different being out and having people say things like that to me, like, 'Happy Pride Month.' I'm like, 'Oh, thank you. Thanks.' I'm usually the one wishing happy Pride Month and counting myself like an ally," she added. "So yeah, it's special. It's special."
Speaking with Gay Times, Cameron said she was initially afraid she wouldn't be accepted professionally if she revealed her sexuality but now is glad she can serve as an inspiration to her fans. "I was never confused about who I was. I felt like I wouldn't be accepted and I had this strange narrative that people wouldn't believe me," she told the magazine.
RELATED VIDEO: JoJo Siwa Opens Up About Coming Out as LGBTQ: 'This Is the First Time That I've Felt So Personally Happy'
"I hope it helps, that's why I came out. It felt like something that I could never talk about. I feel like the industry has changed a lot in terms of having room for people with platforms to be human and not to be picked apart," said Cameron.
"I was really nervous to come out and, one day, I dropped it because I was behaving like somebody who was out and I realized I wasn't. When you are who you are, you assume people see that and then you realize, 'No, I have to come out otherwise people aren't gonna know.' "
Cameron added elsewhere in the interview, "I'm not a label person, but I would say that I am queer and that's probably my most accurate way to represent myself. With the process of coming out, it was about who I am as a whole rather than who I choose to date or sleep with. I'm choosing to love myself, to be who I am every day and not edit myself depending on the room that I'm in. I'm making no apologies for who I am. I'm not saying it slightly differently to make people more comfortable."