Evan Rachel Wood revealed her bisexuality in 2011 to give her fans a truer view of who she is.
However, the first time she tried to come out to her mother at age 12 was much more difficult.
"I was so scared and cried so hard I never got the words out," she wrote in a Twitter interview with the Advocate. "I told her years later. Before I came out publicly."
Though she said that being open about her sexuality was a "weight lifted," there was backlash. The actress said that she has felt "shamed" by people who would prefer she identify as either gay or straight.
"People like things black and white. It's less scary," she explained. "Grey areas make people uneasy."
To that end, it's important to Wood that people understand who she is.
"I also wanted to inspire people to be who they are. Maybe help another struggling terrified 12 year old know it's ok," she wrote. "And I didn't want to feel like I had to hide the women in my life."
Now married to "Turn" actor Jamie Bell, with whom she has a 9-month-old son, Wood is savoring all the time she can spend at home with her two loves.
"It is hard with our schedules and the baby," she said. "But it makes the time we have that much more precious and special."