Cynthia Erivo issues inspiring speech about being ‘Black, bald-headed, pierced and queer’

Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo in Drift (Image: Utopia)

Cynthia Erivo delivered a rousing speech about her intersectional identity at the Los Angeles LGBT Center Gala on Saturday [18 May 2024].

The Tony-winner, who plays Elphaba Thropp in the upcoming movie version of Wicked, was presented with the Schrader Award at the ceremony by Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Accepting her award, the London-born talent said: “As I stand here in front of you: Black, bald-headed, pierced and queer, I can say I know a thing or two about being the other.

“Elphaba’s story is… about how a colourful, powerful, magical woman — despite being disparaged, demonised, and discriminated against — becomes a hero.”

Wicked is a reclamation and a reimagining of the labels used against her. It is the proclamation of her right to exist in all her power,” the star went on. “If that sounds familiar to you colourful, magical people in this room — it should.”

Wicked explores the backstory of Elphaba, the misunderstood Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz.

It follows her unlikely friendship with Glinda the Good Witch, played in the film by Ariana Grande. A trailer for the movie, out 27 November 2024, was released last week [watch above].

“It’s just part of who she is” – Cynthia Erivo on her character in Drift

Earlier this year, in an interview with Attitude for her recent drama film Drift, Cynthia reflected on the “incidental” queerness of the character she plays.

“That’s what I love about it: it was incidental,” the 37-year-old said. “It’s just part of who she is. And it’s not up for discussion or debate. It is what it is. I felt really proud of that.”

Describing the plot of the film, the stage veteran said: “Drift is about a woman, Jacqueline, who we meet after the Liberian war, who was displaced in Greece.

“She’s trying to put the fragments of her life together and meets another person on the path to doing the same. The connection they make seems to be an indelible one.”

The post Cynthia Erivo issues inspiring speech about being ‘Black, bald-headed, pierced and queer’ appeared first on Attitude.