‘Never Have I Ever’ Star Lee Rodriguez: ‘You Don’t Owe Anyone an Explanation for Your Queerness’

by Shine My Crown Staff
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Last year, “Never Have I Ever” actress Lee Rodriguez made headlines when she came out as queer — but now she says she’s tired of having to explain her sexual identity to people.

Rodriguez recently penned an essay for Cosmopolitan, where she opened up about her experience of coming out — and the frustrating series of events that followed.

“The questions really started after Never Have I Ever came out. People would ask, “So are you gay in real life? Or is it just for the show?” Or like, “Oh, are you actually lesbian? What are you?” I was like, “Oh, wow, I don’t know! I don’t know what label I am,” she wrote.

The actress wrote that people’s assumptions about her sexuality became an issue for her.

“It is ultimately my choice to share. I could have kept it to myself, and I would have been just fine. But I feel like people were assuming based on my past dating history, which I didn’t appreciate. I asked, “Why are people assuming my sexuality?” she explained.

Rodriguez’s character in the Netflix series Fabiola came out in the show’s first season, and in real life, Lee then came out on National Coming Out Day in October 2020.

“I kind of felt pressured, in a way, to share that part of me. I knew it was going to be a thing when taking on the role of Fabiola and I was prepared for that because it’s not okay for straight actors to take queer roles. I personally would not have taken the role if I wasn’t. But what I didn’t know was how much I would get the question.”

She says the questions made her begin to doubt herself.

“When people kept asking me, I felt like maybe I didn’t look like a queer person,” she continued. “But you shouldn’t have to explain your queerness. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your queerness or proof that you’re a valid queer person.”

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