Gabrielle Union opened up about her leading role on BET’s “Being Mary Jane” during a recent interview with Essence. The December cover star told the magazine’s entertainment editor that viewers will get to see a Black women who is comfortable with her sexuality on the upcoming series.

“It would be easy to label Mary Jane a freak…but enjoying sex doesn’t make you a ho,” the 41-year-old actress said. “I hope [Being Mary Jane] widens the conversation. I hope people will be more forgiving of those who explore their sexuality unapologetically.”

The self-proclaimed former “mean girl” went on say the she’s learned to live in her own truth and smile in the face of rejection.

“There’s this intense desire for us all to be chosen by a man, or a job, or chosen for fame, whatever. But when you’re in the public eye and you’re not chosen, the rejection feels public,” she shared about losing roles to Kerry Washington (ABC’s “Scandal”) and Paula Patton (Jumping the Broom). “So to cover the wound, you attack the person who is chosen.”

“Being Mary Jane” returns to BET on Jan. 7th, but until then check out Gabrielle’s full interview in the latest issue of Essence, on newsstands now.

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