Amandla Stenberg just revealed she’s gay in a moving conversation with singer/songwriter King Princess.
“Yep, I’m gay,” Stenberg declared to King Princess during their interview for a spread in Wonderland Magazine.
Stenberg, 19, first came out two years ago as bisexual during a Snapchat interview with Teen Vogue. Now, the “Everything, Everything” actress says she knows she’s gay ― and the moment she realized her truth she felt a “profound sense of relief.”
“I had a few big Gay Sob moments when I realized I was gay. One might assume that they were mournful sobs, but actually quite the opposite in my lived experience. They were joyful and overwhelmed sobs,” Stenberg said. “Socialization is a bitch and a half and kept me from understanding and living my truth for a while. 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.”
The actress detailed what it was like to finally realize she was gay, telling King Princess she had to unravel “a long web of denial and self-deprivation” to truly understand her sexuality.
“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,” she said. “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.”
The conversation between Stenberg and King Princess was so good, it was hard to pick out just a few highlights. The two discussed everything from lesbian porn and breaking down heteronormative stereotypes to what Stenberg loves about being gay.
Stenberg said that the lack of queer black women represented in pop culture and on screen definitely made it difficult to recognize her own sexuality.
“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.”
Had I had more representations of black gay women growing up I probably would’ve come to conclusions around my sexuality much earlier. Amandla Stenberg
The actress added that there’s something truly special about being in love with another woman.
“There’s such a divine mutual respect and understanding that gives [women] the safety to be honest and authentic, and a friendship and appreciation injected into the dynamic because of the degree of empathy we have for each other and others as we walk in the world,” she said.
On Sunday, Stenberg posted a few photos from the Wonderland shoot and reflected on how wonderful it feels to come out.
“So happy to say the words Yep, I’m Gay in official print,” she wrote. ”... Thank you to [King Princess] for providing me with such a safe space to come out.”
Head over to Wonderland to read the full interview.