thanking a trailblazer

Taylor Schilling paid tribute to Marsha P. Johnson when she came out

This profile is part of Queerty’s 2020 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.

Name: Taylor Schilling, 36

Bio: Schilling is best known for her starring role as Piper Chapman in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, a performance that earned her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. She also starred in the NBC medical drama Mercy and in the films Atlas Shrugged: Part I and The Lucky One.

Coming Out: Schilling effectively came out to her fans during Pride 2020 when she went Instagram-official with her girlfriend Emily Ritz. The same day, she paid tribute to LGBTQ+ legend and Stonewall activist Marsha P. Johnson on Instagram.

“Here because of women like you,” she wrote at the time, captioning a photo of Johnson. “Happy Pride, my friends. #happypride #marshapjohnson #blacklivesmatter #blacktranslivesmatter #loveislove.”

Breaking Down Barriers: Before this year, Schilling spoke cryptically about her love life — but she did allude to same-sex attractions in a 2017 Evening Standard profile, which mentioned that she reportedly dated actor-musician Carrie Brownstein.

“I’ve had very serious relationships with lots of people, and I’m a very expansive human,” she said at the time. “There’s no part of me that can be put under a label. I really don’t fit into a box — that’s too reductive. I’m working all the time — I don’t really have anything else going on. But I’ve had wonderful relationships.”

Words of Wisdom:

“I’ve had a lot of love, and I don’t have any qualms about where it comes from.” – Taylor Schilling to the Evening Standard