Cynthia Erivo has revealed why it took her some time before coming out publicly as bisexual.
The Oscar-nominated actor, singer, and songwriter shared her experience about her journey in an interview with British Vogue for its August cover story celebrating LGBTQ+ pride.
“[LGBTQ+ people] still “feel the need to be constantly justifying why we deserve to be treated as equal beings, when really the only difference is that we love differently and we express ourselves differently,” she told the magazine.
“Rather than being chastised for that we should be commended for being brave. That’s the most important thing: giving people the space to show up fully as who they are,” she said.
“It’s not necessarily autobiographical, but I am queer,” Erivo told the paper when asked about her music video for her song “The Good” and its depiction of the romantic relationship between two Black women.
She continued, “I have never felt like I necessarily needed to come out, just because no one ever really asked. People make assumptions. No one’s ever really assumed that I’m straight! I don’t think anyone thinks of me as a person that has relationships that aren’t platonic! So I’ve never needed to even really discuss anything about my sexuality at all.”
In an interview with The Advocate promoting the show Genius: Aretha in spring 2021, Erivo, who played Aretha Franklin in the series, said that it was vital to feature stories about Black LGBTQ+ people.
“It’s unbelievably important to keep telling stories that give space and solace to LGBTQ+ members, Black members of our society, of our community, because there isn’t enough. There’s not enough. There’s not enough space. I think the more we can see it the more we get to understand that we deserve space too, that we deserve to be seen, that we can make great things, we can create great art, and that our experiences are valid too,” she said.
“It means a lot to me to be able to be a part of that community,” Erivo added. “It means a lot to me to be able to tell those stories too, and I hope we keep making space to tell them.”
Catch The Advocate's interview with Erivo below.