Sophia Bush has opened up about the pivotal moment that kicked off her coming-out journey.

Over the last few months, the One Tree Hill star has made various headlines in relation to her sexuality.

In October 2023, PEOPLE reported that Bush was dating former pro football player Ashlyn Harris.

The news came two months after the John Tucker Must Die star split from her ex-husband, Grant Hughes, and just weeks after Harris filed for divorce from her wife, Ali Krieger.

Six months later, Bush got candid about her identity and romance with Harris in an emotional coming-out essay for Glamour.

“I’ve experienced so much safety, respect, and love in the queer community, as an ally all of my life, that, as I came into myself, I already felt it was my home. I think I’ve always known that my sexuality exists on a spectrum,” she shared.

“Right now, I think the word that best defines it is queer. I can’t say it without smiling, actually. And that feels pretty great. I finally feel like I can breathe.”

Since coming out, the Good Sam star has remained an open book about her journey, including the moment she started to embrace her queer identity.

During a recent episode of her podcast Work in Progress, Bush revealed to guests Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne that heteronormativity proved to be a significant roadblock during her coming-out process. 


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“I don’t think we realize how deep [it] runs. I think so many women are like, ‘Well, I’m settling a little bit.’ Everyone says everything’s hard, all my friends hate their husbands. And you sort of go… ‘oh.’ And then maybe that’s not it,” she explained.

Bush then discussed her eye-opening conversation with one of her friends following her divorce from Hughes, which helped piece together her queer identity.

“One of my best friends looked at me and was like, ‘I gotta say, that was just painful to watch, and I’m so glad you’re getting out of it,'” she revealed. “‘But, like, I don’t just think he was not the right person for you, but also, I don’t actually think you like men.'”

The Incredibles 2 star went on to describe the heartfelt exchange as an “aha moment” that helped her re-analyze some of her past queer experiences – including the time she fell in love with a French exchange student at 16.


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“I was like, ‘Oh, maybe the drama when I fell in love with this beautiful French exchange student when I was 16 wasn’t about her being a girl, it was that she lived in France.’ And my parents were like, ‘This feels irrational and a setup for heartbreak for you, you’re 16,'” she said.

She also reflected on the moment her friends told her she couldn’t be bisexual due to her romantic partners mainly being men.

The pushback resulted in her feeling the need to “get out of the way” of other queer people who have been in “the fight for liberation for so long”.

“And then, it was like, ‘Well, maybe I don’t have to get out of the way. Maybe I just get to like who I like.’ What a revolutionary f***ing idea,” she added.

While her journey has been far from easy, Bush’s life post-coming out has fortunately been full of queer joy.