1. Lauren Morelli, a writer on Orange in the New Black, came out today in a touching personal essay.
2. “While writing for Orange Is the New Black, I realized I am gay,” reads the headline. What follows is the incredibly personal journey that began with Morelli’s first day on set.
3. Morelli started writing for Season 1 only five months after her own wedding.
“Five months after my wedding, I flew to New York to start production on my first episode of Orange, and from that moment on my life fell into a parallel rhythm with Piper’s story in a way that went from interesting to terrifying in a matter of months.”
4. She started to realize she was unsure about her own sexuality as the writers developed Piper’s sexuality on the show.
“I went to therapy that night and casually mentioned that perhaps I was higher on the Kinsey Scale than I previously thought.”
5. The pivotal “phone scene” between Larry and Piper was a scene she had written with words “shamelessly borrowed” from her own life.
“… and as I watched Jason Biggs repeat “I don’t know if you can,” after Piper begs him to let her fix her mistakes, the world around me swirled in a dizzying blur of life imitating art. Or vice versa — it’s hard to say sometimes. By the end of the day I mostly was trying not to cry, and I also couldn’t feel my feet.”
6. Morelli not only had to mourn the loss of her own marriage, but the identity she had known all her life.
“After lugging around a basket full of shame and guilt for the last year, there was a lightness that came with realizing that I could choose to replace my negative framing with honesty and grace.”
7. Morelli also wrote Piper and Alex’s “I heart you” scene in Season 1.
“Accordingly, I was nervous about the first love scene I’d written for Alex and Piper. I’d loved writing it, loved watching a tenderness emerge in their relationship where passion always seemed to be the ruling principle, but by that time, I was so deep in my own self-doubt that I constantly felt like a fraud.