If you’ve ever wondered why actor and activist Amandla Stenberg doesn’t often go by female pronouns these days, and instead, is open to “they” and “them,” it’s because the star believes that “gender can be pretty much whatever you want it to be.”
At least, that’s what Stenberg told PEOPLE while appearing in their annual Most Beautiful issue.
“I tend to believe that gender as we’ve set it up in current-day society doesn’t actually exist,” the 18-year-old told the publication. “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.”
As she put it, “I don’t necessarily always subscribe to female pronouns just because I don’t think that pronouns are necessarily very meaningful.”
The star revealed last year that they are bisexual, and since then, the 18-year-old, already outspoken about racism and sexism, caring not about any backlash that may come her way, also started talking openly about sexuality.
In the chat with PEOPLE, Stenberg said a major goal was to “show people who follow what I’m doing that you don’t really have to conform to those constructs in order to be valid or be worth something,” the star said. “It’s been such a blessing to watch people who care about what I have to say feel more comfortable in their identities because they see I’m out here doing my thing.”
Image via WENN