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02/07/2017 04:59 pm ET

Evan Rachel Wood Opens Up About Being Bisexual

"I see you -- you see me. We aren't so different."

Actress Evan Rachel Wood delivered a powerful and heartfelt speech in North Carolina over the weekend at a Human Rights Campaign Gala, opening up about her bisexual identity and the responsibility she feels as an LGBTQ public figure.

During her moving speech, Wood told the audience that she never felt compelled or knew how to speak out about her sexuality until she heard another actress first say the word “bisexual.” She then realized the power of visibility and the impact that moment had on her own life and identity.

“As an actor, my job is to look at a stranger and find myself in them ― to connect the dots, to have such empathy for a character that I can read someone else’s words and be moved to tears,” Wood said in her speech. “Turning empathy into vulnerability... and it wasn’t until I saw the effect that it had on other people that I really started to see how powerful really allowing your most vulnerable parts to be seen was. I saw another side to what I did, and it was the power of visibility.”

The “Westworld” star first came out as bisexual in 2011 in an interview with Esquire magazine, and has since used her platform to speak out for the bisexual community, an identity often erased or rendered invisible on the larger LGBTQ spectrum.

Thanks for continuing to be such an incredible bisexual icon, Evan!

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