By Lynsey Eidell. Photos: Getty Images.
Amandla Stenberg may be only 18 years old, but what the actor has to say about gender is wise beyond those teenage years.
Amandla, who identifies as non-binary (which means they don't identify as a boy or a girl), recently opened up about thoughts on gender identity in People's Most Beautiful People issue. "[Gender] can be pretty much whatever you want it to be," Amandla told the magazine. "I tend to believe that gender as we've set it up in current-day society doesn't actually exist."
For Amandla, specifically, that means eschewing the use of female pronouns for the gender neutral they/them. "I've said before that I'm comfortable with using the pronouns 'they' or 'them' alongside 'she' and 'her' just because that's a conversation that's important to me," Amandla explained. "I don't necessarily always prescribe to female pronouns just because I don't think that pronouns are necessarily very meaningful."
This isn't the first time that the Hunger Games actor—who stars in the upcoming film Everything, Everything—has spoken out about gender pronouns. Last year, Amandla shared on Tumblr about their preferred pronouns. "They/them makes me feel comfortable," Amandla wrote, "but I know that the media and the general populace that follows me will critique it/not understand, which makes me feel sad and almost more uncomfortable."
Amandla has also been outspoken about their sexual identity and the trouble with labels within the LGBTQ community. "I identify publicly as bisexual," Amandla said previously. "I would also use the word pansexual to describe my sexuality. The thing is I use the word bisexual just because I feel like for people who don't necessarily know that vocabulary … it's easier to say I'm bi."
Amandla's willingness to be both vocal and open about gender pronoun usage and LGBTQ vocabulary, though, will only help to erase that confusion and lack of understanding.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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