During a recent Q&A, actor Amber Heard spoke about her experiences as an openly bisexual woman in the public eye and implored Hollywood’s famous gay men to come out of the closet.
Heard delivered her rapturous speech at The Economist’s annual Pride & Prejudice conference, which aims to advance a “global discussion on why LGBT-inclusion is good for business.”
At the start, the Magic Mike XXL star reflected on her own queerness, specifically her public “coming out” in a 2010 interview.
“Even though everyone around me strongly advised me against it, I just, it was just wrong,” she said. “I would rather go down for being who I am than to have risen for being something I’m not. I was in a relationship and I just never hid it… an outlet specifically asked me who I was there with that night and what that person was to me, and I just answered honestly.”
Though she had no problems opening up about her sexuality, she explained that the moment put her in a box that she wasn’t entirely comfortable in.
“I never have seen myself as defined by the person I’m with, the same way you’re not defined by the hair color of your partner—I never saw myself defined as one particular thing or not,” she stated. “I watched as I quickly became not actress Amber Heard, but out lesbian Amber Heard.”
While the actor still grapples with the labels various groups place upon her, she went on to say that she feels a “particular responsibility” to be openly proud of her bisexuality.
“I have a lot of lesbian and gay friends that are very well-known working actors and the status quo is just that you answer ‘my private life is my private life,’ and it’s used as… a nice way to dodge it,” she remarked.
“And I didn’t see any worth in that, because while that is true, while my private life is valuable to me, I knew that being in Hollywood… the burden was on me in a different way than if I had a different kind of job.”
“I saw myself as being in this unique position, and as with any unique gift, it comes with a unique responsibility.”
Heard continued by praising the women in Hollywood who had taken on this unique responsibility (notably Kristen Stewart, Cara Delevingne and Evan Rachel Wood) and criticized the men for not joining them.
“Off the top of my head, all the examples that are challenging this [heteronormative] status quo are women,” she said, adding cheekily, “it’s apparently harder for men.”
“If women can do it and we can change the way that this conversation is had on a large scale, then men should be able to do it with as much or more efficacy,” she argued. “With all of the power and authority and representation—I mean, women are so severely underrepresented in film as it is, and that’s just white women, I’m not even speaking of other minority groups—if white men can’t change this, then I don’t know who can.”
She concluded: “If every gay man that I know personally came out in Hollywood tomorrow… we’ll have a day of it, national ‘you know who you are day’—if all of the gay men I knew personally came out tomorrow, then this would be a nonissue in a month.”
h/t: The Daily Beast