How Supergirl star Chyler Leigh related to Alex's coming out story
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Playing Alex Danvers on Supergirl has had a major and personal impact on Chyler Leigh's life.
For LGBTQ Pride Month, Leigh wrote a powerful essay on Create Change, a website she co-founded with the goal of being "your go-to source for encouragement and inspiration to help you become the change you want to see in the world." In the piece, she shared how she has related to Alex's journey of self-discovery — specifically her coming out story in season 2, which affected Leigh's life in a surprising way.
"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," she 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. 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."
While many fans celebrated Alex's coming out scene, some people in Leigh's life weren't quite as accepting as one would hope.
"Here’s the kicker though. 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. Soon after, they began to distance themselves and eventually my family and I were outcast, marking the loss of many folks we loved," she said. "However, after the initial sting, I don’t hold a grudge towards the negative response, because as I said, we all have had a hard time in one way or another with acceptance (whatever the subject may be) whether towards ourselves or others."
She continued: "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."
Watch Alex's powerful coming out scene below:
These days on Supergirl, Alex continues to live her truth. As of the end of season 5, she's in a long-term relationship with Kelly Olsen (Azie Tesfai). When EW spoke to Leigh about the season 5 finale, she shared what she's enjoyed about their dynamic.
"Nothing's been perfect [for the couple]. In fact, it's been quite the opposite just because of the nature of what Alex does and how it is for Kelly because of her past experience, but they're two women that are, for the first time, stepping back out after a loss. So, they have a lot of the same intention and desire to fight for one another and to love one another wholeheartedly ,and just kind of say, 'Hey, we're in this together and we're gonna figure things out.' I'm grateful they can do so without it having to be the conflict," she said. "
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