King Richard star Aunjanue Ellis has come out as bisexual. During an interview with Variety, Ellis revealed that she's never discussed her sexuality because no one asked. She explained, “How do you work that into the conversation, in the middle of me talking about this movie? I’m not that chick. My job was to talk about King Richard, the Williams family, these wonderful young women I worked with, Will Smith’s incredible work in that movie. I wasn’t going to be like, ‘And by the way, in case you ain’t heard yet…’ Because that’s artificial.”
She continued, “There is an assumption made of me — a presumption made of me. Is it because I’m a Black woman from Mississippi? Is it because I’m older?” she added. “I don’t know what the mechanics are that goes into them not processing, or them not just being able to believe that in the same way I am Black, I am queer. This is who I am.”
In March, Ellis stepped out in a red Dolce & Gabbana suit jacket with the word “Queer” written in rhinestones on the sleeve at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards.
She recalled the moment, saying, “I was thinking, ‘Why didn’t more people pay attention to that?’ And I was like, they probably thought it said ‘Queen.' It wasn’t that I was expecting any sort of major reaction or anything like that. One of my family members noticed, but nobody else did.”
Ellis told the magazine that one of her family members was “hurt”by the public display even though the person had previously known about her sexuality. Ellis said, “The way that I live my life, around the people that I live my life around, I am public about it. I’m very clear about being bisexual. I have a sweatshirt that says ‘Girl Bi’ that I wear everywhere.”