‘Orange Is The New Black’ writer Lauren Morelli has just filed for divorce from husband Steve Balisone after she realizing while writing the diverse show that she’s a lesbian. Also — surprise! She’s dating Samira Wiley, who plays Poussey on Netflix’s award-winning series.
Back in May, Orange Is The New Black writer Lauren Morelli penned a touching essay announcing that working for the show made her realize she was gay. Now that she has just filed for divorce from husband Steve Balisone, it has been revealed that she’s been dating Samira Wiley (aka Poussey). Amaaaazing.
Samira Wiley Dating ‘OITNB’ Writer Lauren Morelli: Divorces Husband For Actress
While Lauren did not divorce Steve for Samira so much as she divorced him because the whole being-a-lesbian thing is a real dealbreaker in an opposite sex relationship, it was OITNB that made her realize she was a lesbian and it was there where she began dating Samira.
While Lauren’s relationship with Samira was probably not a secret on-set — after all, they post adorable selfies with each other — it was probably Lauren’s filing for divorce which threw their relationship into the spotlight.
The diversity and inclusivity of Orange Is The New Black has often been credited for changing lives both on and off the show. For example, Laverne Cox, 30, was the first openly trans woman to earn an Emmy nomination and she continues to inspire other trans people to be themselves. It’s kind of amazing that the writers of the show are being changed by their own material.
Lauren Morelli: ‘In Piper And Alex, I’d Found … A Glimmer Of What My Future Could Look Like’
In her essay for Mic, Lauren reveals that she began to question her sexuality only a few months after getting married. Judging by the timeline of the essay, she and her husband decided to divorce sometime around Christmas 2013.
On the show, Piper’s (Taylor Schilling‘s) relationship with Alex (Laura Prepon) is a fraught issue — before getting married to a man, she was in a years-long relationship with the woman who would eventually rat her out and get her put behind bars. “In Piper and Alex, I’d found a mouthpiece for my own desires and a glimmer of what my future could look like,” Lauren wrote.
Here’s another interesting excerpt:
“I realized I was gay in fall 2012, one of my first days on the set. It wasn’t so much one thing, but the sum of many small details: how uncomfortable I felt around groups of lesbians or how I considered myself (shrug) a ‘not very sexual person.’ When considered alone, these seemed like little quirks that made me me. Wanting to read a book instead of have sex is a perfectly reasonable preference to have, right?
“But on set, these small moments came into sharp relief, and I found myself answering to an endless stream of cast members who peppered me with questions like a gaggle of kindergarteners curious about their new teacher. ‘Are you dating anyone?’ ‘You’re married?’ ‘To a man?’ ‘But you used to kiss girls?’ ‘Do you miss it?’
“I was finally forced to consider a question that had never, ever occurred to me before: Holy sh**, am I gay?”
(Check out her full essay here — it’s a great read.)
We’re so glad for Lauren and Samira both — this is an awesome story. Judging by the docs, Lauren and Steve’s divorce will be amicable, reports TMZ.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think? Has OITNB changed your life in any significant way? Let us know!
— Amanda Michelle Steiner