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Amandla Stenberg: ‘I’m gay, not bi or pan’

Amandla Stenberg, the former teen star of “The Hunger Games” who came out as bisexual in 2016 when she was 17, says she now realizes she’s gay. In an interview with “Wonderland” magazine, she got right to the point, joking about her “Ellen DeGeneres on the ‘Time’ cover” moment.”

“Yep, I’m Gay,” she told singer King Princess, who conducted the interview for the international magazine that covers new and established talent in pop culture, including fashion, film, music and art.”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,” Stenberg said.

Stenberg, now 19, said she had a few big “Gay Sob moments” when she realized her sexuality. But she said they were joyful and overwhelmed sobs, not “mournful,” and that “socialization” kept her from “understanding and living my truth for a while.”

She is grateful that being gay has allowed her to “experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way….My sexuality is not a byproduct of my past experiences with men, who I have loved, but rather a part of myself I was born with and love deeply.”

Stenberg first came to notice as ill-fated Rue, Jennifer Lawrence’s sidekick in “The Hunger Games” in 2012, when she was about 13. In 2016, in a Snapchat video for “Teen Vogue,” she came out as bisexual in an effort to inspire black women to embrace their identity.

Appearing on the magazine’s cover in February of that year, in an interview written by Solange Knowles, she talked about her budding social-justice activism and her difficulties adjusting to her identity.

“It’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t be in,” she said then”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.”

Stenberg’s career has since expanded. She’s released her own music, including a Mac DeMarco cover for the new film she’s starred in, “Everything, Everything.” She was named one of the Most Influential Teens by “Time” magazine, and has about two million followers online. She appeared in a cameo for Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.”

 

She just filmed “The Hate U Give,” a drama about police brutality in a poor black community, and her sci-fi flick, “The Darkest Minds,” and the war drama, “Where Hands Touch,” also are landing soon, thus the interview with “Wonderland.”King Princess (real name Mikaela Straus) says she remembers walking out of her junior-year English class reading a headline: “Amandla Stenberg comes out as a queer.”“She unknowingly set a precedent in my life, a gold standard of how to be proud and exist in the intersectionality of multiple identities that were once thought of as being conflicting,” King Princess wrote in an introduction to her interview.

Wait, WHAT?

Why do Millennials always create new rules and identities for the human experience? Seriously, I would like to know because it’s like for example: When the universal: ‘Powers That Be’ decided that weathermen were going to start using terms like: “Polar Vortex” and ‘Derecho’ by claiming that they had always been used (en\ven though I had worked at the Environmental Protection Agency, in the office of Air and Radiation and had NEVER seen or heard those words used in the context or the weather, climate or anything else.)

Therefore to me: Words such as:  Intersectionality et. al. are part of: The Mandela Effect for sexual orientation.

Stenberg said she believes her identities intersect in her life, work and love life.”Identity is transient and ever-shifting, shaped by our realities and relative to our environments,” she said. “I think it’s a lens through which we navigate the world, and so it is inevitable that as I grow and change my experiences of life and love permeate the art that I make.”

Amandla Stenberg has revealed that she was up for a role in Black Panther but chose to walk away because she didn’t want to take a role that could’ve gone to a darker-skinned actress (Oh give e a break! I don’t recall seeing any people who looked like Amandla in my Graduate studies on the history of Pre-Colonial sub-Saharan Africa,) and that is how Black Panther presented itself in Wakanda a land that wasn’t colonized.

 

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