Orange Is the New Black star Samira Wiley is engaged, but it’s her wife-to-be’s story that’s the truly incredible part of it.
Wiley just announced on Instagram that she’s ready to tie the knot with Lauren Morelli, a writer and producer on OITNB. They met on the set of the show and started dating soon after Morelli split from her husband in 2014.
Morelli was married to her husband for two years before they split amicably, and she wrote an essay for Identities.Mic explaining how her work on OITNB made her realize she was gay.
“I realized I was gay in fall 2012,” she wrote, “one of my first days on the [OITNB] set.”
She continued, “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 s**t, am I gay?'”
Meeting Wiley was just the cherry on top of finding herself.
“I went through it all on set: I fell in love with a woman, and I watched my life play out on screen,” she wrote. “It feels liberating and appropriate to live my life in front of you.”
If that isn’t just the sweetest, most unlikely love story I’ve read in a while.
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