Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg comes out as gay

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 16: Actor Amandla Stenberg attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV)

Amandla Stenberg has come out as gay.

The 19-year-old, who made their name in The Hunger Games series and uses gender-neutral they/them pronouns, has previously come out as queer and – in 2016 – as bisexual.

But in an interview with lesbian pop singer King Princess – real name Mikaela Straus – in Wonderland magazine, they revealed that they now define their sexual orientation differently.


Stenberg and King Princess (amandlastenberg/instagram)

The star referenced a seminal coming out moment in LGBT history, quipping: “*Insert Ellen DeGeneres’ TIME Magazine cover squat and wide smile* Yep I’m gay.”

They continued: “I’m grateful for how being gay has afforded me this ability to experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way.

“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, continued Stenberg, who last year starred in rom-com Everything, Everything alongside Nick Robinson, who played the main character in hit coming out film Love, Simon.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02:  Amandla Stenberg speaks onstage during Teen Vogue Summit 2018: #TurnUp - Day 2 at The New School on June 2, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Teen Vogue)

Stenberg making her point (Cindy Ord/Getty)

They explained: “It is the power to reveal the ethereal love that exists within us underneath socialisation.

“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.

“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.”

On their Instagram account, Stenberg posted part of the interview, along with more details about their coming out moment.

“So happy to say the words Yep, I’m Gay in official print,” they wrote.

“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.

“We talk about gay sobbing, first encounters with lesbian masturbation, queer icons, Toni Morrison, disillusionment as a critical step, the art I’ve been working on, and the films that I have coming out this year.”

Stenberg revealed earlier this year that they turned down a role in the incredibly successful Black Panther, explaining that they felt uncomfortable because they are light-skinned.

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 26:  Actor Amandla Stenberg attends CinemaCon 2018- 20th Century Fox Invites You to a Special Presentation Highlighting Its Future Release Schedule at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, on April 26, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon)

Stenberg attends CinemaCon 2018 (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)

“These are all dark skin actors playing Africans and I feel like it would have just been off to see me as a biracial American with a Nigerian accent just pretending that I’m the same color as everyone else in the movie,” said the star.

“That was really challenging, to make that decision, but I have no regrets.”

Stenberg joins several other actors in coming out over the past year, including 13 Reasons Why actor Brandon Flynn, who made the announcement in an emotional Instagram post.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06: Actor Brandon Flynn attends City Year Los Angeles Spring Break on May 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for City Year Los Angeles)

Brandon Flynn (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)

Younger actor Dan Amboyer came out as gay in October, while also revealing that he had married his long-time boyfriend Eric P. Berger.

And in April, 24-year-old former Disney actress Alyson Stoner – best known for her roles in Cheaper by the Dozen and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody – came out as bisexual.