Last Tuesday, X-Men and Love, Simon star Alexandra Shipp came out in an Instagram post after appearing in a music video with singer Hayley Kiyoko. It features “Chance,” a new song by Kiyoko, whose fans call her “Lesbian Jesus.”
In the video, Kiyoko and Alexandra Shipp lock eyes over a spilled basket of fruit, and the rest is history. They brush a horse together, move hay bales, and smear jam on each others faces, smiling shyly the whole time. The entire thing looks straight out of a Pinterest board called “cottage-core,” with the soft pastel theme and flowing fabrics they wear.
After the music video came out, so did Alexandra Shipp. She did it through Instagram on June 1, the first day of Pride month. With a bare-faced selfie and a lengthy caption, she wrote about her struggles with her sexuality and her femininity. It started with a line of rainbow heart emojis.
“It’s exhausting being scared all the time,” she said. “It’s exhausting chasing other people’s ideas and opinions of who you should be. Today I’m happy in ways I don’t think my kid self could imagine.”
In the post, the actress, 29, says that she “came out when [she] was 28,” but this is the first time she has spoken publicly about it: “I’m not denying anything anymore. I’m not scared anymore. I have #pride in who I am and what I’m doing on this planet. I am myself and I love LOVE.”
Kiyoko liked the post and commented clapping emojis. She also posted, but since she’s been out of the closet for a long time, it was only to promote her song.
“So often we don’t think we’re worthy of love, so we let the opportunity pass,” she said. “I wrote this song hoping it will encourage you to take a chance on the person or thing you want, but most importantly on yourself.”
Cover photo Allure