Amber Heard reveals how difficult it was to come out as bisexual to her parents
It's fair to say, for many LGBT+ people, coming out is one of the biggest moments in their lives; and it's one that most people will remember clearly long after. The experiences people have can vary. Some LGBT+ people might have the misfortune to experience rejection and prejudice on the part of their friends, family and peers, while others can find love and acceptance instead.
And this experience is just the same for celebrities as it is for everyone else. One person who knows this all too well is Aquaman actress Amber Heard.
Heard, who is openly bisexual, has had relationships with both men and women in the past. For example, she dated renowned photographer Tasya van Ree for four years between 2008 and 2012, and was subsequently married to Johnny Depp from 2015 t0 2017.
Now, at a panel at the South By Southwest Festival in her hometown of Austin, Texas, Heard discussed her own personal coming out experience, revealing how hard it was to tell her parents.
She stated: "[My parents] didn’t know how to process it because, for them, it was being thrown into a binary system of processing it, negative or positive. I am from Austin, Texas. My dad is out of central casting Texan. Good Southern man, and I was raised in a religious home. And being an outspoken lesbian, atheist, vegetarian, I remember when I told them about my relationship, that I was in love with this woman, and at the beginning of that, it was just tears."
She added: "Five years later, I was getting an award, and I asked my parents to drive out to Dallas, and I see them sitting front and centre and here I am getting this 'gay' award.' My parents in five years, look at the journey. Attitudes and hearts can change ... I don't label myself one way or another—I have had successful relationships with men and now a woman. I love who I love; it's the person that matters."
Heard famously came out to the general public at a GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) anniversary event in 2010. Commenting on her well-publicised decision at the time, the actress said: "I think when I became aware of my role in the media, I had to ask myself an important question 'Am I part of the problem?' And I think that when millions and millions of hard-working, taxpaying Americans are denied their rights and denied their equality you have to ask yourself what are the factors that are an epidemic problem and that's what this is."
If you or anyone else you know is worried about coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, please visit Stonewall's official website for help and further advice.