Supergirl star Chyler Leigh has played Alex Danvers, adoptive sister to the Girl of Steel, on The CW show to acclaim from fans for the past five seasons. In particular, Alex’s coming out storyline in season 2 was widely praised for being sensitively handled by the writers and brilliantly performed by Leigh. The actress has now revealed just how personal this storyline was to her though, opening up about her own sexuality in the process for the first time in public.
Leigh came out in a lengthy, honest post shared to the website for Create Change, a LGBTQ+ organization that she co-founded, in which she speaks about how she learned to accept herself just as Alex was doing the same in the series.
“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.”
Leigh went on to talk about the importance of Alex’s coming out scene for her, and how it helped her realize why she was connecting to the character so much.
“IRL. 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. 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.”
She continues by saying how playing a lesbian character on a high-profile show like Supergirl cost her the support of some of her family. Likewise, she noted how it’s been a “long and lonely road” of self-discovery for herself and her husband, though they’ve come out the other end “proud of who they are.”
“It’s been a long and lonely road for both my husband and myself but I can wholeheartedly 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.”
Alex has had two major romances on the show. She dated National City cop Maggie Sawyer through seasons 2 and 3, before actress Floriana Lima left the cast. As the series stands, she’s currently in a relationship with Azie Tesfai’s Kelly Olsen and has been since season 4.
Congrats to Chlyer Leigh for coming out and for penning such a personal, moving essay that may be just what some people need to read during Pride Month to help them reach the same place.
Supergirl returns sometime in 2021.