Sophia Bush doesn’t love the idea that she has to officially “come out” in 2024. But just in case you’re wondering, yes, she does consider herself queer—and she couldn’t be more proud.

In a powerful and honest essay written by the actor for her Glamour April 2024 cover story, Bush details her journey for the first time, saying that she’s always felt her sexuality “exists on a spectrum.” The word that rings the most true for her, she says, is “queer.”

“I can’t say it without smiling, actually. And that feels pretty great,” she says.

Bush also notes that her coming-out story was not by design. After rumors online that she and her now girlfriend, former US soccer star Ashlyn Harris, were spotted at a restaurant, that decision, she says, was made for her.

“Would I have liked to make the public part of this journey a choice for myself, and not have it taken from my lips and set ablaze by gossip blogs and bottom-feeder online bots? Of course,” she writes. “I’m very aware, though, as we discuss bullying and harassment and being outed without consent—that I’m incredibly lucky this happened in my adulthood. I really love who I am, at this age and in this moment.”

And while Sophia Bush writes that she doesn’t feel like she should necessarily have to, she also wants to show respect to the act of coming out in a year where we have seen “most aggressive attacks on the LGBTQIA+ community in modern history.”

Bush’s April 2024 Glamour cover. Read her powerful essay here.

Lauren Dukoff

“We’ve all learned about kids who have taken their own life after being outed or who have been killed simply for being who they are in a place or time that is threatened by their expressed joy,” she writes. “I am so lucky to be here, now. I have real joy. It took me 41 years to get here. And while I marvel at it, I will also make space for people’s pain. But I will not carry anyone’s projected shame.”

Mostly, she says, her life just feels right. She loves who she is at this stage of her life, and most important, she is happy and ready for the next chapter, which she enters as a proud, out queer woman.

“I turned 41 last summer, amid all of this, and I heard the words I was saying to my best friend as they came out of my mouth,” she writes. “’I feel like this is my first birthday,’ I told her. This year was my very first birthday.”

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