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When asked about her experience of telling others about her sexuality, the Oscar-winning actor has revealed that she “didn’t realise” she was coming out.
“My coming out story… I didn’t realise I was coming out,” she told British Vogue.
“I was just living my life. I was in New York City, I was dating a woman. And I realised my grandparents didn’t know that I like all different types of humans.”
The West Side Story actor admitted that at this point in her life, she “hadn’t really chosen a word to describe myself”, but that she “decided on ‘queer’” as she thought it would allow her “to continue to grow”.
She continued: “So I called my grandparents up. And I said, ‘I don’t know if you’ve ever asked me the question. Or if we’ve ever discussed this, but I love humans of all types of all persuasions, and I’m dating a woman’. And yeah, that was pretty much it.”
DeBose is one of 12 stars appearing on the cover of British Vogue’s August 2022 edition, which celebrates Pride and the LGBT+ community.
Actor, singer and producer Cynthia Erivo; model and actor Cara Delevingne; and model and activist Munroe Bergdorf also feature, alongside model Jordan Barrett, model and activist Sheerah Ravindren; actor and artist Cameron Lee Phan; models Aweng Chuol, Nathan Westling and Valentina Sampaio; drag artist Gottmik; and poet, model and trans visibility activist Kai-Isaiah Jamal.
Elsewhere in the interview, DeBose also opened up about coming to the realisation that she liked girls when she was 11.
DeBose spoke of her pride in being an “openly queer woman of colour” after winning the award for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars in March this year.
The 31-year-old, who won for her performance as Anita in the remake of the classic musical, concluded her acceptance speech by reflecting on her childhood.
“Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus,” she said.
“Look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of colour, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art.
“And that’s what we’re here to celebrate.
She added: “So to anyone who has ever questioned your identity or you find yourself living in the grey spaces… I promise you this, there is indeed a place for us.”