Rowan Blanchard Opens Up About Her Sexuality & Continues Reign As A Teenage Feminist Queen
When she first entered the spotlight in 2014, Rowan Blanchard garnered attention for playing the spunky daughter of the ultimate '90s TV couple: Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence. The Girl Meets World star is much more than that, though. In the past year, she's made a name for herself beyond the bubble of Disney. The 14-year-old is an outspoken activist, making a point to highlight the need for intersectional feminism. Most recently, she wrote an amazing essay for Rookie about no longer apologizing for who she is. (I highly recommend you take a five-minute pause to go read her Rookie post — you won't regret it.) Embracing this very idea, Blanchard opened up about her sexuality on Saturday through a series of tweets. She chooses to identify as "queer," although she really isn't into labels. Blanchard wrote,
in my life-only ever liked boys however i personally dont wanna label myself as straight gay or whateva so i am not gonna give myself labels to stick with- just existing :)
She later tweeted an apology for not putting a comma between "straight" and "gay," but honestly, the casualness of her message and usage of the phrase "whateva" makes it all the more awesome. In a way, it reinforces the idea that it shouldn't be a huge deal however she chooses to identify herself. She also responded to a fan, clarifying she identifies as "queer," because she's "open to liking any gender in future."
Props to Blanchard for being so open and admitting labels aren't necessary. Once again, she's a teenage feminist queen, who reminds her massive amount of fans (3.4 million on Instagram and 334,000 on Twitter) that it's OK to be themselves — no matter what. Her BFF Amandla Stenberg, who shared the title of "Feminist of the Year" with Blanchard, also is open about her sexuality. While taking over Teen Vogue's Snapchat earlier this month, Stenberg came out as bisexual. In an inspiring message, she said,
I cannot stress enough how important representation is. It's a really, really hard thing to be silenced and it's deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn't be in... As someone who identifies as a black, bisexual woman, I've been through it and it hurts and it's awkward and it's uncomfortable... Here I am being myself and it’s definitely hard and vulnerable and it’s definitely a process but I’m learning and I’m growing.
Between Stenberg and Blanchard, they're setting an amazing example for this generation of young people. By seeing these talented ladies break free of labels and stereotypes, it can help open others' minds and inspire their fans to feel more free in embracing their own identities. As Blanchard wrote for Rookie,
REALIZE THAT YOU CANNOT LIVE UP TO ANYONE OR ANYTHING. You can only do your best YOU. Not the “be you, and have yourself figured out and know everything about the world” you.
In case that's not enough to make you bow down in awe, a fan tweeted at Blanchard about wanting to start a "BisexualRileyMatthews2k16" campaign, referencing her GMW character. To which the young actor responded:
So much respect for Blanchard! Considering Girl Meets World has already tackled major issues like cyberbullying and girls in STEM, I don't doubt they can take on this equally important topic. When I see Blanchard, Stenberg, and their fans being so openminded, it renews my faith in the upcoming generation; the future is in great hands.