September 21, 2018 at 12:02 pm PDT | by Mariah Cooper
Amandla Stenberg says ‘internalized homophobia’ prevented her coming out

Amandla Stenberg (Screenshot courtesy of YouTube)

Amandla Stenberg got candid about how she came to terms with being gay in an interview with Seventeen.

Stenberg, 19, originally came out as bisexual in 2016.

“Gender and sexuality are so fluid—it’s okay to change your mind a million times and figure out what works for you,” Stenberg said.

“It’s okay to take your time… I’d been out as bisexual, and people have known I’m queer for a long time. I saw some comments that made me chuckle, like, ‘Girl, we been knew!’ But I wanted to make it very clear that I have romantic love for women,” she added.

Stenberg says “internalized homophobia” kept her from understanding her sexual identity. She explains that she wasn’t comfortable being intimate with men and was with women.

“I always knew that when I hooked up with girls, it was the happiest I’d been in any sexual dynamic,” she says.

Stenberg came out as gay in June saying “I’m gay – not bi, not pan, but gay – with a romantic love for women.

She says coming out at first as bisexual or pansexual helped her discover that gay was her true identity.

“I love that we have this umbrella term of queer, and so many things can exist underneath it, but I realized that part of my journey was hiding underneath that umbrella, because I was scared—on a personal and a public level—to confront what I was. It was easier for me to say ‘I’m bi’ or ‘I’m pan’ as I was figuring it out. But I came to a place where I felt really proud of my sexuality, and I decided I wanted to share that pride,” Stenberg said.

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