Cynthia Erivo has never felt so free creatively, and it's thanks in large part to coming out as bisexual. On Friday, the 35-year-old actor appeared on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" where she opened up about how her life has changed since she came out in July. For Erivo, the road to sharing her sexuality with the world has been a long one in large part because she didn't feel as if she had the language to describe her identity as a teenager.
"I don't think I had the language to even know what was going on," she told Clarkson of her teen years. "It's come much later to me now, and it's wonderful to just be me, really."
In July, Erivo shared her sexuality publicly in British Vogue's August 2022 Pride issue. At the time, she spoke about how LGBTQ+ people deserve to be given space to be their true selves. "[LGBTQ+ people] still feel the need to be constantly justifying why we deserve to be treated as equal beings, when really the only difference is that we love differently and we express ourselves differently," she said. "Rather than being chastised for that, we should be commended for being brave. That's the most important thing: giving people the space to show up fully as who they are."
As she explained to Clarkson, the "Wicked" star finally feels like she's found that space, and it's made a huge difference for her both creatively and personally. "I think it's sort of made space creatively to just sort of let go of whatever I was hiding," she explained. "You know, you don't realize you're doing that, putting so much energy behind it, and once you take the energy away from concealing something that is so a part of you that you can't hide it, you can put it elsewhere and make more wonderful things."
Erivo added that it's important to remember not every queer person has the words to describe their identity at an early age — but there's power in finding those words for yourself. "We don't necessarily know the language until someone says these are words that you might want to use, these are expressions you might want to use, here is some space for you so you can speak about yourself without someone else telling you," she said.