On the groundbreaking LGBT-focused TV show The L Word, Pam Grier’s character Kit Porter was a fierce ally of her LGBT friends and family. Off screen, however, Grier was initially a bit more hesitant to embrace the community.
“I didn’t know anything about the LGBT community,” Grier admits on the latest episode of PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing. “But I said, ‘I need to know because there are certain communities that I’m familiar with that still have a phobia of it based on religious doctrine, but if you can’t accept it, at least tolerate.’”
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Luckily, the tolerant example Grier’s character set — and the open-mindedness Grier herself demonstrated — inspired others to adjust their own opinions.
“I received such positive fan mail from people of color and religious groups that were saying, ‘You gave us a comfort zone, you were a beacon,’” Grier recalls. “They said, ‘We didn’t understand, but you made us feel comfortable.’”
Watch the full clip above for more.