06/17/2015 05:06 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Rachel Dolezal Reveals She's Bisexual

While embattled civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal remains evasive about certain questions pertaining to her background, she was remarkably candid about other personal matters in a Wednesday interview, casually sharing with NBC's Savannah Guthrie that she is bisexual.

"Even in dating relationships -- and I'm bisexual, I've dated men and women -- I've intentionally asked, 'So, do you date light-skinned women, what's your spectrum?'" Dolezal said.

Dolezal, who has publicly identified as a black woman for more than a decade -- and continues to do so in the face of her biological parents' insistence that she is white -- also said she feels a connection to Caitlyn Jenner's story. Jenner, the former Olympian who previously presented as male under the name Bruce, shared her story of living as a transgender woman in a recent Vanity Fair feature.

"I finally had a chance to read Caitlyn Jenner's piece in the magazine and I cried. I cried," Dolezal told Guthrie. "Because I resonated with some of the themes of isolation, of being misunderstood, to not knowing if you have a conversation with somebody, will that conversation then end because they've seen you as one way?"

Dolezal's story made headlines after a local TV station reported that city officials in Spokane, Washington, were investigating whether the 37-year-old had lied about her race on an application.

After graduating from the historically black Howard University, Dolezal became a prominent civil rights activist in Spokane and served as president of the local chapter of the NAACP until stepping down Monday.

Buzzfeed reported Tuesday that the Dolezal family is in the middle of a legal fight over allegations that Rachel's brother, Joshua, sexually abused their adopted black sister in 2001 or 2002. But the Dolezal parents, Ruthanne and Larry, deny the claims and say Rachel orchestrated them in order to win custody of her adopted brother Izaiah, whom Rachel now claims as her son.

Dolezal, meanwhile, said Wednesday that she doesn't feel she has been deceptive about her race.

"I really feel like there have been moments of some level of creative nonfiction," she told Guthrie. "I have kind of had to explain or justify some of the timeline and logistics of my life in a way that made sense to others."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story identified Dolezal's brother as Joseph. His name is Joshua.



28 Bisexual Celebrities