‘King Richard’ Star Aunjanue Ellis Reveals That She’s Bisexual, Recalls As A Teen Trying To Train Herself To Like Boys: It Was Exhausting

Aunjanue Ellis

‘King Richard’ Star Aunjanue Ellis Reveals That She’s Bisexual, Recalls As A Teen Trying To Train Herself To Like Boys: It Was Exhausting

‘King Richard’ co-star Aunjanue Ellis is ready to fully live in her truth!

During a recent interview with Variety, Aunjanue Ellis, 53, revealed her sexual orientation to the world by speaking out through the magazine for their 2022 Pride issue. The two time Emmy-nominated actress spoke her truth about her sexuality and revealed that she identified as bisexual.

Aunjanue Ellis

Aunjanue Ellis recalled growing up queer and as a teenager trying to train herself to be attracted to boys, trying “to talk my body into correct behavior.” She said,

“The solitude of that is so lonely, it’s violent. It’s violent because you literally have to tuck and place so many parts of you to be acceptable, so people won’t run from you and don’t want to be around you. It was exhausting. That’s what childhood was like. That’s what adolescence was like. I knew [my sexuality], but there was no template for it; there was no example of it; there was no place for it, and certainly no forgiveness for it.”

Reportedly, Ellis was in her 30s when she realized she’s bisexual. Currently, she’s in an 11-year relationship with a man she met in church. It wasn’t until she walked the grounds of the Sundance Lab with another female attendee that she realized what she was missing in life. Ellis shared,

“We were just spending time talking and hanging out. We walked by this stream — those streams in Utah where it snows once, and then it becomes a beautiful, clear, clear stream — and 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. I said, ‘This is how I’m supposed to feel. This is what I’ve been waiting to feel my entire life.’”

While the news was already known by family and friends, Ellis’ sexuality was never revealed in the media because her personal life never really came up while attending her fair share of red carpets, ceremonies, panels, and interviews. In the words of Ellis, “Nobody asked.” When speaking on working her sexuality into press for ‘King Richard,’ she explained,

“How do you work that into the conversation, in the middle of me talking about this movie? I’m not that chick. My job was to talk about ‘King Richard,’ the Williams family, these wonderful young women I worked with, Will Smith’s incredible work in that movie. I wasn’t going to be like, ‘And by the way, in case you ain’t heard yet…’ Because that’s artificial.”

Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis

Ellis continued,

“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. This is who I am.”

According to reports, Ellis’ current focus is on expanding the range of queer representation through her work. She emphasized the lack of Black gay or bisexual women included in story-telling today, and plans on bringing it into the world creatively through her forthcoming projects.

What are your thoughts on Aunjanue Ellis coming out as bisexual? Tell us in the comments below! 

Authored by: Ariel Whitely