amandla stenberg reveals her first lesbian crushes to king princess
The teen actor/activist has officially come out as gay in an illuminating interview.
Amandla Stenberg is a guiding light for her millions of fans, many of whom fall somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. In a new interview with fellow unapologetically queer artist Mikaela Straus (a.k.a. King Princess), Amandla discusses how her own place on that spectrum has shifted over the years, revealing that she now proudly identifies as gay or lesbian. “So happy to say the words ‘Yep, I’m Gay’ in official print,” Amandla wrote on Instagram yesterday, teasing the interview with KP, which was published on Wonderland this morning.
Amandla first came out as bisexual on Teen Vogue’s Snapchat in 2015, and discussed pansexuality a year later in a heartfelt pre-prom video for Rookie. “It’s easier to say I’m bi [than it is to say I’m pansexual],” she said at the time, now revealing that was part of a struggle to “understand love outside the confines of learned heterosexual roles.” Amandla cites heteronormativity and internalised homophobia and reasons she was hesitant to publicly come out as gay in a space where she wasn’t so comfortable. Amanda and KP — in case you’re not following them on Insta for some reason — have been buddies for a while now. (“I’d like to think that we’re like the Scooby Gang in Buffy, but at the same time, The L Word,” Mikaela recently told i-D of her relationship with Amandla and The xx’s Romy. “Maybe we’d fall somewhere between the two? Buffy with just a little more gay.”)
“Socialization is a bitch and a half and kept me from understanding and living my truth for a while,” Amandla continues in the interview. “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. All of the things that felt so internally contrary to my truest self were rectified as I unravelled a long web of denial and self deprivation.”
Turns out Amandla had her own guiding gay lights in the form of Audre Lorde, Frida Kahlo, and Syd from The Internet — a v commanding trio of self-selected mentors. Her first gay crushes are equally amazing. They include Mila Kunis in After Sex (duh), “Christina Vidal’s punk ass” in Freaky Friday, and, uh, Mirage from The Incredibles. Hey Pixar, if you’re serious about queering up the animated movie canon, Amandla has quite the voice.
This article originally appeared on i-D US.