The 19-year-old star, who announced in 2016 that they identify as non-binary, told Wonderland, “I was so overcome with this profound sense of relief when I realized that I’m gay — not bi, not pan, but gay — with a romantic love for women. All of the things that felt so internally contrary to my truest self were rectified as I unraveled a long web of denial and self deprivation. Like oh, maybe there’s a reason why I kissed my best friends and felt ashamed growing up. … Or developed earth-shattering, all-consuming crushes on… GIRLS!”
Once Stenberg had that realization, everything fell into place. “I was flooded with a sense of calm and peace because everything that I struggled with or felt discomfort around finally made sense to me, and once those floodgates opened and years of pent up pain and shame were released, I found the freedom to live my best life waiting for me just underneath,” they explained.
Stenberg went on to express how their sexuality has enriched their life. “I’m grateful for how being gay has afforded me this ability to experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way,” they said. “My sexuality is not a byproduct of my past experiences with men, who I have loved, but rather a part of myself I was born with and love deeply.”
Stenberg also came out on their Instagram account, posting a photo from the Wonderland magazine shoot and declaring, “OUT & PROUD. So happy to say the words ‘Yep, I’m Gay’ in official print. Interviewed for @wonderland by someone I stan infinitely — the fiercest garbagio pop queen @kingprincess69. Thank you to KP for providing me with such a safe space to come out. We talk about gay sobbing, first encounters with lesbian masturbation, queer icons, Toni Morrison, disillusionment as a critical step, the art I’ve been working on, and the films that I have coming out this year.”
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(photo via Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV)