Nicole Garcia Merida counts the reasons she ❤️s the actor/activist
BY NICOLE GARCIA MERIDA
You first knew them as Rue from The Hunger Games, but Amandla Stenberg is the fresh new face of young, gay black non-binary people. These are some of the reasons why we think Amandla deserves a spot in the Queer Hall of Fame (is that a real thing yet?).
1. At the premiere of The Hate U Give
This stunner refuses to conform to the patriarchal norms of beauty that we’re all tired of by now. Amandla rocked up to the premiere of their latest movie, The Hate U Give, with unshaved armpits. On the Hollywood red carpet, this is an unparalleled act of authenticity, something Amandla has been very vocal about striving for.
2. When they came out
Though they first came out as bisexual in 2016, Amandla announced they were gay earlier this this year in an interview with Wonderland. They regard coming out as gay as one of the most freeing experiences they’ve ever had, when suddenly “everything made sense”. Ditto, Amandla.
3. The time they took no shit from racist media outlets
They’re taking no more racist microagressions. Unbelievably, a media outlet tweeted out a picture of Amandla and captioned it Normani… Another successful black woman. I’ve seen many a post about how much Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry look alike — but never one confusing them for the other. So @racistmedia, what’s good?
4. When they won the Change Maker Award
The activist turned actor had their voice recognised earlier this year when they were presented with the award at Equality Now’s Make Equality Real Gala. They graced Beverly Hills with powerful words, as they often do, reminding us that the most powerful thing that we can do is be ourselves.
5. When they called out racism in the industry… Again.
Even though The Hate U Give might have been a breakthrough, it hasn’t always been that way for the trailblazer. In an interview with IndieWire, Amandla said it used to be hard finding roles that didn’t confine them to stereotypes of people of colour (i.e: hood girl number 2, or daughter of drug dealer). Which, like, unfair? There’s white drug dealers too, @Hollywood.
6. Everything about The Hate U Give
The harrowing story about police brutality touched home with Amandla, and they’ve spoken about how tough it was to act about a subject they felt so affected by. Despite their emotional involvement, their priority throughout the film was to accurately represent victims of this ubiquitous issue.
As an actor and an activist, Amandla sets the bar high. Having a platform is not enough anymore, famous people of Hollywood. Get on it!
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