Name: Samira Wiley, 31
Who She is: Actress/model
Why She Matters: With roles on Law & Order: SVU and Orange is the New Black, Wiley has lived her entire career out and proud.
Why We’re Proud: Wiley landed a key role on the Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale opposite Elizabeth Moss, inhabiting one of the most dynamic queer characters on television: Moira, the enslaved lesbian and best friend of Moss’ June.
The world has taken notice. Wiley earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama last year.
In addition, she married her longtime girlfriend Lauren Morelli.
When asked about her sexuality, Samara cites her parents love as her inspiration. In an interview with The New York Times, Wiley did not hesitate to put herself forward as a role model for queer youth:
“We need you, regardless of the message that you’re receiving somewhere else. Not only are you O.K., you’re fine, but you’re valuable to the global conversation. I want to be that voice that people don’t have in their parents.”