Amber Heard publicly came out as bisexual in 2010, but the Aquaman actress says that coming out to her parents was the most difficult part of her journey, per People. Heard shared that her parents, who are deeply religious, had a hard time processing that their daughter was, at the time, in love with a woman that she was dating. She described her parents as being very tearful when she opened up to them about her sexuality.
“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, tears,” Heard shared while speaking at the “Making Change On and Off the Screen” panel at SXSW on Saturday.
At the time, Heard was dating photographer Tasya van Ree. Following their split, Heard met, and later married, Johnny Depp. Heard and the Pirates of theCaribbean actor divorced following Heard’s allegations of physical abuse at the hands of Depp. As People shared, Heard and Depp settled her suit out of court in 2016, and the actress donated her $7 million settlement to charity.
As time went on, Heard’s parents became more and more accepting of their daughter’s sexuality — and Heard says that was, in part, due to her refusal to admit that her family life was in jeopardy. Heard told The Times that she didn’t want to be defined by her sexuality, and that she didn’t want to have to deny who she was in order to be the most authentic version of herself. She also shared that her coming out deeply impacted her career.
Heard received an award five years after opening up about her lifestyle to her parents, and asked them to come to Dallas to watch her receive said award. The actress said that not only did they come, but they sat front row. For the first time, she truly felt accepted for who she is.
“And I see them sitting front and center and here I am getting this ‘gay’ award… My parents in five years, look at the journey. Attitudes and hearts can change.”
After Heard’s divorce was finalized in 2017, she briefly dated Tesla founder Elon Musk. Heard continues to be an outspoken advocate for LGTBQ causes, and for herself — saying that she is opposed to “editing” herself for the roles she wants.