Just say the word, I keep thinking. I have been waiting over a decade to hear Chloë Grace Moretz say the phrase, “I am queer.” I’m not trying to out her. And trust me, I’m not one of those pervs with their gross countdown clocks waiting to see when a female celebrity is “legal” — I watched those “fans” bedeviled a lot of female performers in the past, including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Natalie Portman, and Britney Spears. And no doubt since she starred in Kick Ass when she was 12 years old, Moretz has had those “fans” as well but even more so those of us truly inspired by her talent.
But I am a queer fan, one who has noticed that not-so-quietly, Moretz has become of the staunchest LGBTQ+ supporters in Hollywood. Then she dated a woman, in public, without making any statements about what it meant. And since they’ve I’ve been wanting to turn the story of Moretz, in the public social sphere, from one of “LGBTQ+ ally” to what she really is, which seems to be “LGBTQ-identified.” She is one of us.
Now 24, Moretz has been in more than 60 movies or television shows, from her earliest on The Guardian and Amityville Horror to her most recent sci-fi thriller Mother/Android, which premiers on Hulu on December 17. She is one of the best modern actors who began as a child star (she was 6 years old when she started acting) and has only gotten better as the years have gone by. After Kick Ass came Hugo and then her amazing performance in the haunting remake, Let Me In (the remake of a Swedish film is ostensibly about vampires but it has strong allegories to chosen family and queer existentialism, too).
“Let Me In is one of my favorite projects I had the opportunity to work on,” Moretz says. “I never want to be pigeonholed into one specific genre, and I think for me, I want to keep myself guessing.”
Her roles are in the dozens now, often concurrent and opposite types of projects too. While filming a seven-episode arc in the very adult series Dirty Sexy Money, she also voiced Darby in 87 episodes of My Friends Tigger & Pooh.
So far, her acting and producing choices sometimes seem mercurial but also like calculated prescient choices.
“I try to follow my heart and listen to where I am currently and not guess too far in front of myself,” Moretz admits. “Predominantly, it has been a subconscious decision. I just listen to my heart by trying to follow the projects that light me up in a way that others haven’t. Where I wholeheartedly know there’s no other project I could imagine doing at that moment.”
While staring as a kid sent to anti-gay conversion therapy in Desiree Akhavan’s 2018 film, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Moretz proved herself a deft LGBTQ+ ally, at the least, talking about her gay brothers to whom she’s extremely close — one served as her business manager, the other her acting coach. Moretz also talked extensively about gay conversion therapy and about how both of her brothers tried to “pray the gay away” while growing up in a small, largely Baptist town in Georgia.
“The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a project that of course is incredibly queer, itself being about the struggles of Christian conversion therapy,” Moretz says. “It highlights the miseducation of those who are the practitioners and, the lack of understanding and acceptance they have for queer youth. It shows how incredibly detrimental conversion therapy is to both the heart and mind. It felt so important to be able to portray Cameron. With Desiree Akhavan adapting and directing the story, I knew it was going to be handled in the perfect manner.”
Somewhere along the line, Moretz herself had not only become an LGBTQ+ ally, but also a staunch feminist and a bright, refreshing political voice. In 2014, Time magazine named her one of the 25 Most Influential Teens of the year. In 2016, she supported Hillary Clinton for president, speaking at the Democratic National Convention that summer urging younger people to get out the vote.
“It has always been a concerted effort for me in my career to make sure that I use my voice and my platform to express how I feel on certain issues,” Moretz says. “That started from a young age, and it was definitely difficult especially in the beginning with the amount of push back I saw within the industry and those I had come in contact with or had the potential to work with.”
She says that people would repeatedly ask, “Do you really want to be that girl?”
“My answer was unabashedly, ‘Yes!’ [she laughs] I do want to be that girl. A massive part of my identity is speaking my truth no matter what and educating myself on the issues that I hold dear to better learn how to change the world around me.”
And of course, by the time the captivating and sort of queer thriller Greta came out in 2018, Moretz showed she is way more than a beautiful, saucer-eyed ingenue. She’s a powerhouse for whom acting is just one avenue open to her. And her personal life is both public (People magazine has photographed her on dates with men and women both) but also, well, private and label-free.
After her 2018 breakup with Brooklyn Beckham, Moretz appeared to be dating model Kate Harrison. In 2021, she’s reportedly single but also has been linked to Jansen Panettiere and others. Who knows how much is true vs. gossip wag speculation. But Moretz has also told reporters that she shouldn’t have to come out. It shouldn’t be a question.
“I really feel that it should be up to the person, whatever you feel you need to do to be your truest self — express yourself!” she says.
Of course, it’s ironic since Moretz has recently executive produced the six-part Snap Original series, Coming Out, a six-episode show available only on Snapchat's Discover. Each episode highlights a young LGBTQ+ person inviting us into their lives as they share the next milestone in their coming out journey, supported by queer icon and beauty expert, Manny MUA, the CEO of Lunar Beauty. Each episode concludes with a swipe-up to The Trevor Project, with whom Snapchat has a partnership, where audiences can access and explore LGBTQ+ resources.
The show ended earlier this year but is still available on Discover.
Unlike the kids in Coming Out, though, Moretz has been in the spotlight for much of her life deciding how much she can share with the world and how much is just taken from her. Keeping any burgeoning love quiet in Hollywood can be difficult regardless of your orientation.
“It is always difficult in the public eye threading the needle between professional and personal,” Moretz says. “I love anonymity in life. It is something that I truly cherish. Of course, there is a side to my life where I have my platform and as I see it, the ability to spread love and change through my personal perspective and views. I try to do this in a way that is organic and natural to me.”
Moretz admits that social media has played a huge role in her ability to do that.
“I can speak directly to my fans in my own words and have a common dialogue,” the actress says. “I find my speaking with them through social media to be a place where we can discuss what is most important to us.
Moretz pulled back a bit on her own projects a few years ago, saying she wanted to do work where she could find herself through the roles she choose. Presumably, that extends to the work she’s producing, too.
“The reason I took a step back was to be able to find myself and have purpose in every project that I choose to be part of,” Moretz says. “Most definitely that decision extends to the work I’m producing. Coming Out is a show I feel so passionate about. I hope it is a show that will help to save lives by sharing what coming out means to each individual — that no single ‘coming out’ story is the same, each one is unique.”
The project came to Moretz through her producing partners, 44 Blue.
“We had had a meeting with them and we aligned on so many different aspects, one of those was on this project, Coming Out,” Moretz recalls. “It felt like a wonderful piece we wanted to put our weight behind, and after four years of searching for the perfect home, we met with Snapchat and it truly felt like the perfect alignment.”
She says that “being able to have LGBTQ+ content in the palm of kids and adults’ hands across the world allowed for the reach to be that much greater. They also didn’t want to pigeonhole what ‘Coming Out’ could mean in all the different facets of the community. I’m so very proud of the wonderful people who decided to join us in this and share their stories.”
Of course, there’s a rich nuance in many of Moretz’s recent roles like in Greta, which has a queer reading to it.
“I think it is interesting in projects when gender roles and sexuality is blurred,” Moretz says. “I love being able to flip the script and have people find little moments within projects that may surprise them. That, to me, is the beauty of art. To have the ability and freedom to blur lines, and to express each character in different facets so as to show audiences that there are so many different aspects to all of us.”
For Moretz, even something that’s ostensibly just a fun kids film like Tom and Jerry has important threads for Moretz. In this case, “unity,” she says.
“Unity is what I hope for most for our world,” the actress-activist-producer adds. “Especially here in the U.S., we have to find unity and compassion. We are living in such a highly divided time. We have conservative lawmakers bringing in deplorable legislation that is taking our country backwards in history, rewriting the change that has been so [difficult to fight for]. There has to be a path found to acceptance, unity, compassion, and love in this country and across the world. We are and always will be, stronger together.”