This past week, Hunger Games actress and intersectional activist Amandla Stenberg came out as bisexual while taking over Teen Vogue’s Snapchat account. Stenberg is outspoken in a variety of social justice issues (including cultural appropriation) and with this latest announcement she’s brought attention to the issue of bisexual visibility in a culture that frequently isolates and shames identities that deviate from monosexuality. And while it shouldn’t take celebrities to legitimize something as natural as a sexual orientation, representation is a powerful tool to combat stigma and consequently oppression. So, without further ado, here are some other women who, like Stenberg, are out and loud under the public eye.
When discussing her open marriage, Cho said, “I’m technically not able to stay with one person sexually because I’m bisexual.” She admitted to not speaking for all bisexuals, since many are in monogamous relationships, but added, “That’s my response. Good for you. But I can’t stop up that hole.” While Cho reclaims the stigma attached to bisexuality, she does note that, “Gays and lesbians might assume we’re not homosexual enough, and straight people assume we are in porn.”
In a 2009 interview the actress opened up about her sexuality: “For me, it’s not really an issue because I’m someone who believes being bisexual is actually a thing. It’s not made up. It’s not a lack of decision.” A few years later she went on to explain to a rather confused Larry King that there is no such thing as a “non-practicing bisexual” because someone can be both bisexual and in a monogamous relationship.
When Lost actress Bai Ling first came out, it was actually due to a language interpretation error while reporters were asking if she were bi (pronounced the same as her first name, Bai). But now she’s very clear about her bisexuality. In an interview with Ask Men she said, “People always ask me if I’m bi, and I say, ‘Yeah, I’m bi.’ I’m very comfortable saying it. Gender and age and size and culture are not important. The important thing is the pace of the romance that makes your heart smile – when you can’t be without that person and you don’t want to be away from them.”
Hip hop artist Angel Haze is actually not a woman; they identify as agender (which means they identify as neither a man or a woman). But they still belong on this list for representing bisexuality in the music industry, which is not known for having a stellar track record with the LGBT community. Although they prefer to keep their music and their sexuality separate, they don’t shy away from speaking up about their sexuality and homophobia in their industry.
Singer Halsey holds close her biracial, bipolar, and bisexual identities. She’s purposeful in involving her sexual identity in her art – her music video “Ghost” has two cuts, one with a male romantic interest and one with a female. This was to the chagrin of her creative team, but her beliefs on representation are clear: “I’m a bisexual woman so I’m interested in relationships with both men and women and I know how important it is to showcase that.”
These individuals are paving the way for bisexual women (and nonbinary individuals) in a struggle for legitimacy. Although there are several more celebrities who claim sexual fluidity, these individuals have taken on the label “bisexual” and wear it proudly.