In Everything Everything, Amandla Stenberg, plays ‘a girl in a bubble’ – a curious and vibrant 18-year-old suffering from an immune deficiency syndrome that keeps her isolated within a hermetically sealed environment. Having fallen in love with the boy next door through a series of text messages, the character in the film is willing to risk it all to have a chance at feeling everything life has to offer even if only for a while. In life, the 19 year-old actress, Stenberg has emotionally availed herself to everything in terms of sexual preference. If anything, her bubble was ‘endless choices,’ ambivalence, and an indefatigable need to keep an open mind. But now, all she really wants is to be herself in the end, which, as it turns out is being gay.
In a recent interview with queer artist, King Princess, Amanda came out and said: “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.”
She went on to explain, “Like oh, maybe there’s a reason why I kissed my best friends and felt ashamed growing up… or watched lesbian porn and masturbated (and more) with my friends at sleepovers. Or stifled a scream of horror the first time I saw a penis… Or developed earth-shattering, all-consuming crushes on… GIRLS!”
Elucidating on the idea, she continued, “Unlearning heteronormativity and internalized homophobia can be difficult, but one of the biggest blessings lies in the magic that comes from having to understand love outside the confines of learned heterosexual roles. It is the power to reveal the ethereal love that exists within us underneath socialization.”
Learning to find oneself beneath the many selves projected so that one can get along in society is never an easy task. Not for ordinary people. Not for actresses. Not even for stars the likes of Stenberg. Still finding that bit of true Everything life has to offer is way better than pretending that ‘everything’ suits you fine. Choices have to be made, choices which are true to your real emotional center and persona.