Actress Chyler Leigh, who plays Kara Danvers’s lesbian sister Alex on the CW series Supergirl, penned a heartfelt coming out letter about her path with her sexual identity.
On the Create Change website (an organization she helped to co-found), Leigh posted the message that delves into how her character’s coming out on the series’s second season resonated for her personally.
“When I was told that my character was to come out in season 2, a flurry of thoughts and emotions flew through and around me because of the responsibility I personally felt to authentically represent Alex’s journey. What I didn’t realize was how the scene where she finally confessed her truth would leap off the pages of the script and genuinely become a variation of my own. IRL,” Leigh wrote.
“My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest each take we filmed, every time presenting another opportunity to get those honest words out of my mouth. Though they don’t exactly match my personal dialogue, the heart behind it surely did,” she added.
“From the director, the press, the media, the cast, and the fans, I’m still told that it was the most realistic coming out scene they’d ever witnessed. And to steal from Alex’s words, that’s because there’s some truth to what she said about me.”
Prior to her work on Supergirl, now in its sixth season, Leigh played Lexie Grey, sister to Ellen Pompeo’s lead character Meredith on the groundbreaking (in terms of queer characters and intersectionality) series Grey’s Anatomy from 2007-12.
Born in North Carolina and raised in Virginia, Leigh also wrote about how Alex’s coming out on the Melissa Benoist-led Supergirl spurred anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric from some of her friends.
“Here’s the kicker though. Since that episode aired, I was told from dear friends (and even avid watchers of Supergirl) that they would no longer watch the show because of the fact that Alex’s journey took a turn from their less than acceptable beliefs,” Leigh wrote.
“Soon after, they began to distance themselves and eventually my family and I were outcast, marking the loss of many folks we loved,” she continued. “However, after the initial sting, I don’t hold a grudge towards the negative response, because as I said, we all have had a hard time in one way or another with acceptance (whatever the subject may be) whether towards ourselves or others.”
“It’s been a long and lonely road for both my husband and myself but I can whole-heartedly say that after all these years, he and I are still discovering the depths of ourselves and each other, but throughout our journey we’ve learned to be proud of who we are, no matter the cost,” Leigh wrote to end the letter.
Leigh married actor Nathan West, with whom she worked on 7th Heaven, in 2002. They have three children together.
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