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Cynthia Erivo Shares Love of Queer Community Atop a Mountain With Bear Grylls

Cynthia Erivo Shares Love of Queer Community Atop a Mountain With Bear Grylls

<p>Cynthia Erivo Shares Love of Queer Community Atop a Mountain With Bear Grylls</p>
Courtesy: National Geographic

Tony winner and star of the upcoming Wicked movie, Cynthia Erivo shows support for queer folks who have a tough time coming out between rappelling into a cave and navigating an icy waterfall in an exclusive clip from Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge.

Tony winner Cynthia Erivo memorably ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon and then performed the lead role of Celie in The Color PurpleThe Color Purple on Broadway in back-to-back shows on the same day. So it’s no surprise she joins adventurer Bear Grylls on Wales’s Brecon Beacons Mountains where she rappels, explores a labyrinth of caves, and navigates an icy waterfall before setting out on her own to locate the extraction point. Ahead of the solo piece of her adventure on National Geographic’s Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge, she candidly shares the importance of supporting her LGBTQ+ community with Grylls. And The Advocate has the exclusive clip below.

“You’ve been very open about your support for the LGBTQ+ community. Why was that?” Grylls asks while they’re resting around their campfire.

“Because I’m part of it. They’re my family. There are so many young people who don’t get the privilege of being able to share who they are and what they are with the world and be loved for it and be taken care of,” Erivo says. “So the more there are examples of people who aren’t ashamed to be themselves, the more they grow into themselves as well and they know there’s a world out there waiting for them with open arms.”

Bear Grylls and Cynthia Erivo at Brecon Beacons Mountains in WalesCourtesy: National Geographic

The star of the highly anticipated big-screenWicked opposite Ariana Grande and an Oscar nominee for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in the 2019 film Harriet, Erivo has spoken openly about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community for several years. In an interview with The Advocate in 2021 for her Emmy-nominated role as Aretha Franklin in NatGeo’s Genius: Aretha, Erivo said, “It's unbelievably important to keep telling stories that give space and solace to LGBTQ+ members, Black members of our society, of our communities, because there isn't enough, there's not enough space.”

“It means a lot to me to be able to be part of that community. It means a lot for me to be able to tell those stories too. I hope we keep making space to tell them,” she added at the time.

Since that conversation, Erivo’s continued to advocate for her LGBTQ+ community, telling queer stories through her music, like the steamy and affirming video for her 2021 song “The Good.”

In a 2022 interview with British Vogue, Erivo explained why she waited to come out as bisexual.

“[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 said. “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.”

In her downtime atop a chilly mountain with Grylls, Erivo reiterated the need to allow queer people space to step into their identities.

“Sometimes people don’t understand that it’s not always safe for people to come out. It’s not always safe for people to be themselves,” she tells Grylls. “It takes a lot of time, and courage, and space to be able to do that. All we can do is let them know that there’s patience and that there are people who love them, and when they’re ready, they’re ready.”

Watch Erivo on Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge on July 24 on National Geographic.

Cynthia's LGBTQ community | Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge S2 | National

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