Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg, 17, comes out as bisexual in a Snapchat video, as she praises close friend Willow Smith for helping her to embrace her true identity
- Amandla posted a series of impassioned videos on the Teen Vogue Snapchat account to celebrate being the magazine's latest cover girl
- The actress said that, as a 'black bisexual woman', she knows how 'deeply bruising' it can be to try and 'fight against your identity'
- She urged other black women to 'express your joy and your love and your tears, and be big and bold'
The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg has come out as bisexual in a series of emotional Snapchat videos.
During a day-long takeover of the Teen Vogue Snapchat account, the 17-year-old actress, who appears on the cover of the magazine's latest issue, explained to fans that she 'identifies as a black bisexual woman', before admitting that it had taken her some time to feel comfortable about openly revealing and embracing her sexuality.
'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 in the candid clip, which was also posted on her Tumblr page. '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.
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Speaking out: The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg came out as bisexual while posting videos on the Teen Vogue Snapchat account
Her true identity: The 17-year-old explained during a series of short video clips that she knows what it's like to try and 'mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn't be in'
Cover star: Amandla appears on the front of Teen Vogue's February issue, in which she is interviewed by Solange Knowles
The star then went on to pay tribute to women like Beyonce's sister Solange Knowles, who interviewed her for Teen Vogue, singer Willow Smith and Selma director Ava DuVernay, noting that they have helped her to 'realize that there is absolutely nothing to be changed [about my identity]'.
'I realized because of Solange and Ava DuVernay and Willow, and all the black girls watching this right now, that there is absolutely nothing to be changed,' she told the camera. 'We cannot be suppressed, we are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears, and be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow.
'I definitely believe in the concept of rebellion through self-hood, and rebellion just by embracing your true identity no matter what you are being told. Here I am being myself and it's hard and vulnerable and it's definitely a process, but I'm growing and I'm learning.'
Amandla, who appeared in first installment of The Hunger Games movie series as Rue, the young sidekick to Jennifer Lawrence's character Katniss, finished off the series of clips by calling her fellow women to action, noting that there is still 'a lot of work to do for all women of color'.
Staying strong: 'We cannot be suppressed, we are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears, and be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow,' Amandla said to her fellow black women
Star in the making: Amandla first rose to fame when she landed the part of Rue in the first installment of The Hunger Games movie series (pictured)
'This is just the beginning though...' she said. 'We need more representation in film and in television and we need our voices to be louder in the media.
'And not just women of color, [but] bisexual women, gay women, transgender women, mentally-ill women. I'm sick of all the misogyny and homophobia and transphobia that I see around me and I know you are too!'
Although this is the first time that Amandla has revealed herself to be bisexual, it is certainly not the first time that she has spoken out candidly about race issues, or in support of her fellow black women.
In July last year, the teen accused Kylie Jenner of 'appropriating black culture' after the reality star shared an image of herself with her hair styled into cornrows.
Inspiration: The actress paid tribute to her close friend Willow Smith, naming her as one of the people who has helped her to feel comfortable with embracing her identity
Leading ladies: Amandla also praised Selma director Ava DuVernay (left) and Solange (right), who interviewed the star for her Teen Vogue piece
At the time, Amandla aired her frustrations in a comment posted on an Instagram photo of Kylie modeling the hairstyle, writing: 'When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter. [sic]'
Kylie, whom is thought to have once dated Amandla's close friend Jaden Smith, son of actor Will, fired back, writing: 'Mad if I don't, Mad if I do…. Go hang w Jaden or something.'
When Amandla was first revealed as the lucky young star who had been chosen to play Rue in the hugely-popular sci-fi movie series, the casting announcement also sparked a shocking race row, with many fans of the books taking to social media to complain about the fact that a 'black actress' had been cast in the role.
'I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned that a black girl was playing Rue,' one person wrote, while another added: 'Kk call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasn't as sad #ihatemyself'
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