In honor of pride month, Aunjanue Ellis publicly shared with the world, for the second time, that she is bisexual. In an exclusive interview with Variety, the actress opened up about her sexuality.
Prior to Pride Month, Oscar nominee, Ellis, took to the red carpet for the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards. Loud and proud on her suit sleeve read “QUEER” in bedazzled letters. Her gesture to publicly come out shockingly received no attention from the press. Ellis shared that "It wasn’t that I was expecting any sort of major reaction or anything like that."
"One of my family members noticed, but nobody else did,” she shared.
Although Ellis is open about her sexuality, her friends and family gave her a difficult time with her fashionable public gesture. To which Ellis had to say,
“I am a work in progress, and my family and my community are works in progress, I really believe that that is important to say because I’m not alone. We see people on the other side of it, where everybody’s good and fine: ‘Love is love.”
Being open about her sexuality has not been a walk in the park for Ellis. Her childhood was spent raised in a God-fearing family that was invested in the church. At the young age of 8, Ellis already knew where her heart stood concerning her sexuality.
She recalls questioning the Bible during Sunday school and would "attempt to talk my brain into correct behavior.”
She recalled when she officially came to terms with being bisexual after she ended an 11-year relationship with a male.
“We walked by this stream — those streams in Utah where it snows once, and then it becomes a beautiful, clear, clear stream — and there was a moment when the sun was hitting the water, and I was looking down in the water, and it was so clear, and I can only hear this woman’s voice behind me. I said, ‘This is how I’m supposed to feel. This is what I’ve been waiting to feel my entire life.’”
Ellis shared her story to honor the LGBTQ+ community and help others.
“The solitude of that is so lonely, it’s violent, It’s violent because you literally have to tuck and place so many parts of you to be acceptable, so people won’t run from you and don’t want to be around you. It was exhausting. That’s what childhood was like. That’s what adolescence was like. I knew [my sexuality], but there was no template for it; there was no example of it; there was no place for it, and certainly no forgiveness for it.”
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