Model and Body-Positive Activist Tess Holliday Comes Out as Pansexual

Trailblazing plus-size model, influencer, and body-positive icon Tess Holliday has come out as pansexual.

Speaking to Nylon for the magazine’s July 2019 cover story, Holliday spoke openly about her sexual orientation for the first time, revealing that she identifies as pansexual:

Holliday had been on vacation in Mexico for the past few days. She told us that, at another hotel’s pool bar, she was talking to a man who asked her, “Are you bi?”

She continued: “I said, ’Thank you so much for asking. I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship to my own queerness, and I think the word pansexual speaks to me more than bi does.’”

She paused, grinning: “He said, ’Thank you for telling me about that, but actually, I said, Are you buying?’”

It was a funny anecdote, sure (“… Her queerness isn’t the only thing revealed with this story,” writes Nylon Editor-in-Chief and proud lesbian Gabrielle Korn. “Now we also know that she’s really fucking funny.”) But the admission also marks another turning point for Holliday, who’s made a name for herself as a socially conscious, fiercely body-positive advocate for women and marginalized people of all shapes and sizes.

At 34, Holliday is also married to a man and has two children, fact she says complicates her newfound realization that she isn’t straight.

“I feel like a lot of stuff in my life now makes sense,” she told Nylon about her personal revelation. “A lot of the things that I felt when I was younger make sense. A lot of the relationships that I had make sense. I definitely have a sense of relief. I can connect with people on a more intimate level than I was before, because I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not.”

Now that’s a message we can all get behind.

Tess, welcome to the family! You’re certainly in good company, with superstars like Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie and Dirty Computer songstress Janelle Monáe digging the label “pansexual,” too.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.


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