This actress came out as bisexual 2 years ago. Here's why she's coming out as gay now.

Amandla Stenberg, star of "The Hunger Games" and "Everything, Everything," first came out as bisexual in 2016.

During her takeover of Teen Vogue's Snapchat channel, the star spoke about why it's important to be open about her sexuality and the pain that comes from remaining quiet.

"We cannot be suppressed," she said. "We are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears and be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow. Here I am being myself and it's definitely hard and vulnerable, and it's definitely a process, but I'm learning and I'm growing."


At a time when being part of the LGBTQ community can still affect one's career potential in Hollywood, Stenberg's coming out was a powerful message that being yourself must come first.

In a new interview with Wonderland magazine, Stenberg came out again this year, this time as a gay woman.

"Yep, I'm gay," she said proudly at the very start of the interview. Throughout the Q and A, she opened up about the "profound sense of relief" that came with realizing her romantic love for women and finding self-acceptance in her evolving sexuality.

It's not an easy process. Sexuality is usually taught in black-and-white terms: You're either straight, gay, or bi, and that's pretty much it.

But that isn't quite right. Not only are there many more types of sexual orientations, but sexuality can also be fluid, changing with time and discovery. Stenberg's experience reflects this.

One of the most exciting details of Stenberg's coming out story is that it was a journey fraught with hardship — but also joy.

In fact, when asked about her "gay sob" moment (a phenomenon in which one is racked with emotion after reaching clarity about their sexual orientation), Stenberg says that she was overwhelmed rather than devastated when she realized she was gay:

"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."

The joy Stenberg feels is exactly why everyone should be encouraged to explore their sexuality.

Instead of trying to fit into the boxes that have been created for us — and which many feel obligated to step into — it's more important than ever that we live for ourselves and love who we love.

Stenberg's coming out is an important step in the path to progress. May all of us find the courage to live so joyously and so out loud.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.