The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg confirmed she is gay in a new interview with Wonderland Magazine published Monday.
"I was so overcome with this profound sense of relief when I realized that I’m gay," the 19-year-old actress told musician King Princess for the magazine. "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 unraveled a long web of denial and self-deprivation.”
Stenberg said she 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."
According to Stenberg, if she saw more representations of black gay women growing up, she might have realized she was gay much sooner and learned it was OK.
"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," she said.
As for her first lesbian crush, Stenberg named Mila Kunis. She recalled watching After Sex (2007), in which Kunis and Zoe Saldana star as lesbian college roommates, and the sex scene in Black Swan (2009) with Kunis and Natalie Portman.
"So Mila Kunis was probably my first lesbian crush, besides that silver haired hoe Mirage from The Incredibles or Kristina Vidal’s punk a– in Freaky Friday," Stenberg recalled.
Being gay has "afforded me this ability to experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way," Stenberg told King Princess earlier in the interview.
"The continual process of unlearning heteronormativity and internalised homophobia can be difficult, but one of the biggest blessings lies in the magic that comes from having to understand love outside the confines of learned heterosexual roles," she said. "It is the power to reveal the ethereal love that exists within us underneath socialisation."
"OUT & PROUD," Stanberg wrote on Instagram. "So happy to say the words Yep, I’m Gay in official print. Interviewed for @wonderland by someone I stan infinitely – the fiercest garbagio pop queen @kingprincess69. Thank you to KP for providing me with such a safe space to come out."0comments
Stenberg, who is now a student at New York University, played Rue in The Hunger Games (2012). She also starred as Maddy in Everything, Everything (2017) and stars in The Darkest Minds, which co-stars Mandy Moore and opens on Aug. 3. She also stars in The Hate U Give, which comes out on Oct. 19.
Photo credit: Instagram/Amandla Stenberg