Chyler Leigh, who plays Supergirl’s adoptive sister Alex Danvers on The CW superhero series, has come out as queer.
Leigh came out in a moving piece published on the website Create Change, which she co-founded with her husband Nathan West (aka East of Eli) and Filipino-born graphic designer Angelo Lagdameo.
According to the founders of Create Change, their primary mission is to be a “go-to source for encouragement and inspiration to help you become the change you want to see in the world. ”
In her heartfelt message, Leigh traced her journey to self-acceptance and how her TV role impacted the process of her coming to terms with her sexual identity.
Leigh shared how Alex Danvers’ coming out story influenced her
In the piece, titled Wear Your Pride, Leigh shared how her Supergirl series character, Alex Danvers, influenced her decision to come out as queer.
In Season 2 of Supergirl on The CW, Alex Danvers comes out as gay after meeting the lesbian police officer Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima).
CHYLER JUST CAME OUT. MA’AM pic.twitter.com/ReFM3RYQlx
— quynh (@I_corq) June 8, 2020
Leigh said that when she first learned that her character would come out in Season 2, she felt strong emotions due to the realization that she had the responsibility to authentically represent her character’s experience.
Although she could immediately relate to Alex, she did not, at first, appreciate how much Danvers’ story would influence her and play a role in shaping her own coming out story.
She added that she could personally relate to the words Alex spoke in her Season 2 coming-out scene.
“… 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. The scene is in Season 2, Episode 6 if you wanna see for yourself.”
Leigh suffered ostracization after Danvers came out as queer
Chyler Leigh also revealed that some close friends who had previously been avid watchers of Supergirl told her they would no longer watch the show because Alex Danver’s coming out conflicted with their beliefs.
She added that some of those friends began distancing themselves from her and her family. Leigh said that she and her family suffered ostracization and became outcasts because of the role she played on TV.
“Soon after, they began to distance themselves, and eventually my family and I were outcast, marking the loss of many folks we loved.”
Leigh said she was at first deeply hurt by the loss, but she later adjusted and now she does not hold a grudge towards the people who responded negatively to her.
Leigh has played other roles on TV
Although she is best known for playing Kara Danvers’ (aka Supergirl) adoptive sister on Supergirl, Chyler Leigh has appeared in other roles on multiple TV shows, including The CW’s 7th Heaven, ABC’s Wilder Days, and Fox’s That ’80s Show.
She stars on The CW’s Supergirl alongside Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers. She also played Claire Wyatt on Fox’s The Practice, Sarah Mickle on Girls Club, and Kate Spangler on North Shore.
Her film credits include the role of Janey Briggs in the 2001 hit comedy film Not Another Teen Movie.
Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1982, but grew up in Virginia Beach and Miami Beach. She started her career as a model when she was only 12 years old, and appeared on national commercials.