Photo: NY Daily
Actress Aunjanue Ellis has finally revealed her sexuality. She identified as bisexual, which was already common knowledge to family and friends, but she hadn’t made it known publicly before now.
The reason? Ellis elaborated, “Nobody asked.”
Pointing out that she wasn’t one to talk about her personal life while promoting an Oscar-nominated film and her work “because that’s artificial,” Ellis revealed her truth in a unique way: by sporting a Dolce & Gabbana suit jacket imprinted with the word “Queer” to the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards a few months past and by discussing the subject via Variety in their 2022 Pride issue.
“I’m very clear about being bisexual. I have a sweatshirt that says ‘Girl Bi’ that I wear everywhere,” Ellis stated, further saying that although she gives her effort to bring pride to fellow Black women, they still don’t acknowledge her as a member of the LGBTQ+ family.
“There is an assumption made of me – a presumption made of me. Is it because I’m a Black woman from Mississippi? Is it because I’m older? I don’t know what the mechanics are that goes into them not processing, or them not just being able to believe that in the same way I am Black, I am queer,” Ellis continued. “This is who I am.”
When asked about her sexuality, Ellis confirmed that she knew at age eight. However, it wasn’t until later in life that she felt undersized and raised with a firm belief in the Bible Belt, not recognizing this side of herself until their 30s.
“There was a moment when the sun was hitting the water, and I was looking down in the water, and it was so clear, and I can only hear this woman’s voice behind me,” she stated of the walk with a friend at Sundance Lab that was an enlightening moment of her life.
“I said, ‘This is how I’m supposed to feel. This is what I’ve been waiting to feel my entire life.'”
Ellis’s performance in King Richard as the matriarch of a prominent Black family has earned her respect from fellow actors and audiences alike. In an interview with EW, she stressed how much playing this role means to her.
“It’s because I’ve done something I feel good about, and that’s because it’s making people feel good,” she told EW regarding the role. “I had to convince them to put me in this movie, but thankfully I got them to believe.”
Ellis is now calling on everyone to believe in her as she shares her story with the world.
“It is imperative that we see more of that because it is the truth of who we are,” Ellis said in the interview with Variety. “It is not a blemish on who we are. It is the wonderful scope of our humanity as Black folks in this country. It is something that I am insisting on, in what I bring into the world creatively.”