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Aunjanue Ellis, Mattie Moss Clark

Source: Lifetime / lifetime

It’s officially Pride month and actress extraordinare Aunjanue Ellis has come out publicly as bisexual. Ellis made a silent statement while attending the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon. Ellis wore a red Dolce and Gabanna suit with the word “Queer” embroidered in Swarovski crystals. It was less of an announcement as she has been openly bisexual for most of her career, she told Variety:

 “I’m very clear about being bisexual.”

As a southern woman and Mississippi native, Ellis also expressed to the outlet that being queer and southern shaped her childhood:

“The solitude of that is so lonely, it’s violent,” Ellis said. “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.”

A ways from childhood, the 53-year-old actress has found community and decided to tell her story stating,”The way that I live my life, around the people that I live my life around, I am public about it.” 

A breakdown of LGBTQIA+ representation in Hollywood showed that only 14 percent of films featured Bisexual people, according to GLAAD. 

Though Ellis’s roles are not centered on sexuality, her presence brings awareness to her community.

Ellis’s decision to tell her story and intersectionality is important. She admitted to minimizing and scoffing at the contribution of Oracene Price, the mother of Venus and Serena Williams. She pointed out how women and their stories are often minimized in the larger conversations:  

“You should know how women are always underwritten, undertold”

Aunjanue Ellis has quickly become a heavy weight in Hollywood, having blessed many notable films, Men of Honor, Undercover Brother, Ray, The Taking of Pelham 123 and The Help, to name a few. Her last role as Oracene Price in King Richard, the Richard Williams biopic was critically-acclaimed and led to an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

RELATED CONTENT: Aunjanue Ellis Credits Will Smith For Negotiating Better Pay For ‘King Richard’ Cast

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