Amandla Stenberg played Katniss’s dear young friend, Rue, in the first Hunger Games installment. But Amandla is much more outspoken than the innocent and demure character she portrayed. She is using her fame now to embrace her identity and encourage other young women to do the same.
The 17-year old came out as bisexual in a Snapshot video for Teen Vogue. “It’s a really, really hard thing to be silenced. And it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t be in,” Stenberg said in the video that she posted on her Tumblr account.
“As someone who identifies as a black, bisexual woman, I’ve been through it, and it hurts. It’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable. But then I realized because of Solange [Knowles], and Ava DuVerney, and Willow [Smith], and all the black girls watching this right now, that there’s absolutely nothing to change. 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.”
“This is just the beginning, though,” Stenberg continued. “We have a lot of work to do for all women of color…And not just women of color. 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.”
“I cannot stress enough how important representation is,” she concludes.