Image: Screenshot of Amandla Stenberg in 'Don't Cash Crop On My Cornrows" Youtube
19 year old actress and activist Amandla Stenberg, best known for playing Rue in The Hunger Games and Maddy in Everything Everything, has chosen to come out as gay during Pride month.
Stenberg discussed her sexuality in an Interview for Wonderland magazine, conducted by her rumoured girlfriend, pop singer King Princess, whose real name is Mikaela Straus.
“*Insert Ellen DeGeneres’ TIME Magazine cover squat and wide smile* Yep I’m gay,” Stenberg said.
“The continual process of unlearning heteronormativity and internalized 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.”
“Once I was able to rid myself of those parameters, I found myself in a deep well of unbounded and untouchable love free from the dominion of patriarchy.”
Stenberg also announced the news on her Instagram account, posting "OUT & PROUD, So happy to say the words Yep, I'm Gay in official print."
In January 2016 Stenberg came out as bisexual, telling fans on Instagram that “It's a really, really hard thing to be silenced and it's deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mould yourselves into shapes that you just shouldn't be in."
"As someone who identifies as a black bisexual woman, I've been through it and it hurts and it's awkward and it's uncomfortable.”
The actress is known for her activism and was named feminist of the year in 2015 by the Ms. Foundation For Women. The same year she released a video called Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows, a crash course in black culture which is deeply critical of white artists who appropriate black culture but refuse to use their platforms to fight racism or protest police brutality.
As an active #TimesUp campaigner, Stenberg advocates for more diversity in the entertainment industry and fights for gender parity for women. The bi-racial actress, whose mother is African-American and father is Danish, walked away from a role in Black Panther because she felt a darker-skinned actress should play it.
“I noticed the casting choices were all actors who were either actually African or darker skinned and I think there would be something wrong about me as a lighter, more privileged actor, taking a role from a darker actor with a Nigerian accent," she told Indie magazine.
"It just felt inappropriate to me, so I decided not to go further in the audition process.”
Stenberg’s next movie is The Hate U Give, based on the Black Lives Matter inspired novel by Angela Thomas, about a 16 year old girl who witnesses her unarmed best friend being shot by a policeman.