Chyler Leigh, who plays Alex Danvers in the CW series “Supergirl,” just came out in a heartfelt letter. Leigh published the letter on the Create Change website, which she helped co-found. In it, she explains how Danvers’ coming out story on the show also resonated with her own.
“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,” Leigh wrote. “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.”
She continued, “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.”
Leigh says that the “Supergirl” cast and director felt that her coming out scene was the “most realistic” they’d ever witnessed. Fans and reviewers in the media concurred. “To steal from Alex’s words, that’s because there’s some truth to what she said about me,” she explained.
But through her character, Leigh also bore witness to the potential consequences of coming out publicly. “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,” she said. “Soon after, they began to distance themselves and eventually my family and I were outcast, marking the loss of many folks we loved.”
Leigh, who is married to actor Nathan West, added that she doesn’t hold a grudge against these unaccepting people. She ended the letter with this: “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.”