“You should be able to come out on your own terms”
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE VIA @WHODODATLIKEDAT ON INSTAGRAM
In an interview with The Guardian, Orange Is The New Black star Samira Wiley has opened up about the moment she was outed by a castmate. Originally playing Poussey Washington, Samira wasn’t out when the show first aired.
“My publicist got it off the internet in 30 minutes, but what’s 30 minutes on the internet? A lifetime”, she stated. “Obviously, no one cared. Everyone already assumed it. It was mine. It’s not yours to give someone. I felt like they took something from me”, Samira furthered.
“You should be able to come out on your own terms, so that was probably a little deeper”, Samira stated elsewhere on the WNYC Nancy podcast in 2018. “Someone from my cast actually, during the interview they were talking about out gay actors in the cast…and they mentioned my name and I saw it in print, and I cried. I cried a lot.”
“I wasn’t out in the beginning, and I think falling in love with Poussey, which is a real thing that happened to me, helped me fall in love with myself as well”, Samira furthered. Marrying Lauren Morelli in March 2017 only helped Samira to further her confidence, as Lauren has encouraged her to take on roles that widen representation and help her step into her personal power. “My wife is actually somebody who helped me be comfortable with who I am”, she revealed in a Bustle interview. “I just thank God so much that she did because it’s so freeing to be comfortable with myself.”
Notably, Orange Is The New Black put LGBTQI women on the map – despite its imperfections – when it premiered in 2013. Many of the cast members are LGBTQI, including Laverne Cox, Ruby Rose and Lea DeLaria.
Lauren Morelli – who met Samira Wiley as a scriptwriter for Orange Is The New Black – has previously opened up about their relationship journey. “I remember those first months with her, trying to figure out her journey with her own sexuality. Feeling like she picked me as the person she was going to talk to about all of it. And it wasn’t sexual, it was just like a friend. There was something deeply intimate about that, whether there was sexual tension there or not”, Lauren revealed.
“The deep intimacy of being two people talking about the core of who we are. Talking about our journeys. Not even necessarily flirting on set, but on the phone, thousands of miles apart, talking about ‘Who are we? And does this make me a different person? Does this actually make me who I am now?’”
“That’s how we fell in love.” N’aw.
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