Today, in a Snapchat takeover for Teen Vogue, 17-year-old actress Amandla Stenberg came out as bisexual.
Stenberg is perhaps best known for her role as Rue in the Hunger Games, for which she was nominated for a 2013 NAACP Images Award.
"It’s a really, really hard thing to be silenced and it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourselves into shapes that you just shouldn’t be in," she said. “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."
A groundbreaking report published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation revealed that 40 percent of more than 10,000 LGBT youth surveyed by the organization identify as bisexual — and many of them say they face more challenges coming out and gaining acceptance than their lesbian and gay peers. Only five percent of bisexual youth reported being “very happy,” compared to 21 percent of non-LGBT youth surveyed separately to provide a point of comparison.
Nearly a third of bisexual young people said they had been “frequently or often” harassed or called names at school, compared to nine percent of non-LGBT youth who reported similar mistreatment.
When asked if they have an adult family member they can turn to, 44 percent of bisexual youth said they did, compared to 79 percent of non-LGBT youth who reported having a supportive adult at home.
Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied – matters. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other.
Whether it’s for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion — from fear to euphoria. Coming out — whether it is as LGBT or allied — is a deeply personal journey for each individual.
Learn more about coming out at HRC’s Coming Out Center
Watch the entire video on her official Tumblr page.