Cynthia Erivo Explains Why Her Coming Out Happened Later In Life

For queer people, coming out is different for every person. In a new interview, Cynthia Erivo is ready to share her experience with the process.

Appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show‘s Friday (Sept. 23) episode, the film and Broadway star opened up about her identity, saying that for much of her life, she didn’t know how to describe what she was feeling. “I don’t think I had the language,” she explained. “I knew something was different, but I didn’t know what. Like, ‘What do I call this? What do I say about it?'”

She continued, saying that most people assume that every LGBTQ person secretly knows that they’re gay, even when that is not necessarily the case. “Most of us do, but we don’t necessarily know the language until someone says, ‘Hey, these are words you might want to use,'” she said. “‘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.'”

Erivo first spoke publicly about her sexuality in August 2021 following the release of her music video “The Good,” self-identifying as queer in an interview with The Evening Standard. In a later interview with British Vogue in August 2022, the singer opened up about identifying as bisexual and the pain of seeing fellow queer people get chastised for being themselves.

“It’s come much later to me now, and it’s just wonderful now to be me, really. And it’s made space creatively to just let go of whatever I was hiding,” she told Clarkson. “You don’t realize you’re doing that, putting so much energy behind it – once you take the energy away from concealing something that is so a part of you that you can’t hide, you can put it elsewhere.”

Check out Cynthia Erivo’s full interview with Kelly Clarkson above.