How The Orlando Shooting Changed Samira Wiley's Perspective On Being An LGBTQ Role Model

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You might've seen Samira Wiley as Poussey Washington on Orange Is the New Black or her other TV roles. She's also openly lesbian and dating OITNB writer Lauren Morelli.

In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Wiley talked about what this year's Pride celebrations meant to her — both the good and the bad.

She said Pride was one of her favorite occasions. “It’s so gay!” she joked. But this year's festivities also had a sad undercurrent running through them due to June's gay nightclub shooting in Orlando. One Pride event she went to included a moment of silence for the victims.

“I was never struck more than in that moment of how joyous and how happy Pride makes me, because we had to take that moment of silence and for a moment, it was so profoundly sad, it was so profoundly upsetting, that it made me aware of how different a feeling it was,” she said.

“I took it as a message of how important it is to me to stay visible, to remain active, and not necessarily doing anything radical but just living my life openly and honestly in front of people — I think that in and of itself can be radical — and to not hide, and to not be afraid.”

Given all the anti-LGBTQ sentiment throughout this country, that's not an easy thing to do. We applaud Wiley for doing it anyway.