This profile is part ten of Queerty’s 2020 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.
Name: Auli’i Cravalho, 19
Bio: Cravalho grew up in Hawaii, a child of native Hawaiian, Asian, European and Latin descent. As a child, she fell in love with music, joining the choir and eventually, her high school glee club. A chance meeting at a charity concert caught the eye of a talent agent, who suggested the 14-year-old submit to an open call by The Walt Disney Company. In an unusual move, Disney began accepting YouTube auditions for the title role in a new animated film, Moana. Cravalho reluctantly agreed, and was the very last audition accepted by the company. Imagine her shock at learning she had won the role.
Moana went on to become a major hit in 2016, catapulting Cravalho to stardom. In 2017, she performed the song “How Far I’ll Go” at the Academy Awards to a warm reception, and began taking other acting roles in the TV series Rise, Elena of Avalor and Weird City, as well as in the film All Together Now. She also returned to her Disney roots playing the title role in the concert version of The Little Mermaid Live! broadcast on ABC.
Coming Out: Cravalho surprised her fanbase in April 2020 by coming out as bisexual via a video on TikTok. While lipsyncing to an Eminem song, she mouthed the words “I’m bi.” She later doubled down on the assertion when a fan on Twitter asked if she liked girls. Cravalho’s response: “If I may escort you to my TikTok…”
Finding My Flock: As the voice of Disney’s most popular characters (two, counting her stint in The Little Mermaid Live!), Cravalho it goes without saying that Cravalho has a young fanbase. For a star of children’s fare to come out of the closet is almost unheard of, particularly when said star is only in her teens herself. By coming out, by setting an example to the kids watching Moana and singing along with her at home, Cravalho has sent a powerful message: LGBTQ people exist everywhere, and that’s ok. The children raised on her music and films will have someone they look to as an example, and as a guide. For those kids who come out as queer themselves and want to find their community, they will need not look further than Carvalho, a voice of their childhood to find their flock, and to feel accepted. How far they’ll go…
For that matter, we look forward to seeing how far Auli’i Cravalho will go too.