Hunger Games Star Amandla Stenberg Comes Out: “I’m Gay – Not Bi, Not Pan, But Gay”

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The LGBTQ+ community has been celebrating pride month since June 1, and now, there’s another celebrity who’s sharing her coming out story. In a new cover interview with Wonderland, Amandla Stenberg has come out as gay, and it seems like she couldn’t be happier to finally live publicly as her true self.

Amandla — who has starred in movies like The Hunger Games and Everything, Everything — came out as queer in a Teen Vogue Snapchat two years ago, but this is the first time she’s openly revealing exactly how she identifies. The first question that interviewer King Princess asked her was, “are you gay?” to which Amandla replied, “yep, I’m gay!” So that settles that. She also posted this Instagram:

The rest of the interview focuses largely on Amandla’s sexuality, and even at 19 years old, it’s really refreshing to see her speak so authentically about who she is and what being part of the gay community means to her. According to Amandla herself, being gay is “a part of myself that I was born with and love deeply,” and it’s something that’s been a part of her life even when she was younger and found that she was attracted to women.

“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,” she told the magazine. “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 also added that part of the reason she didn’t come out sooner was because there is the lack of black gay women in the media — had she more role models, it might have made her coming out easier at a younger age.

“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 said. “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.”

Amandla’s absolutely right — this is just one example of why representation is so essential, and it’s one of the many reasons it’s so important that Amandla has taken this part of her life public. She may not have had a lot of women like her to look up to as a kid, but she’s changing that for the girls who can now look up to her. And now that she’s been able to come out, she’s having a lot of moments where she feels relieved that she understands herself on a new level.

“I was flooded with a sense of calm and peace because everything that I struggled with or felt discomfort around finally made sense to me, and once those floodgates opened and years of pent up pain and shame were released, I found the freedom to live my best life waiting for me just underneath,” she said.

We’re so happy for her, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for her. Live your best life, Amandla!