Pretty Little Liars came out during the midst of my coming out. There were so many similarities between my life and the show. Sure, no one was murdered in my friend group. No, we didn’t uncover daily mysteries and fine, we didn’t dress like we were runway ready each day for school.
So…looking back there was really just one similarity. Emily Fields, played by Shay Mitchell, was the token lesbian amongst her friends, and I was the token lesbian amongst mine!
So of course the show always had a special place in my heart. Well the first two seasons did at least, I started losing track when this alleged “A” still hadn’t been discovered…uhm, hello? “A” has now been creeping around the same town for years, ruined multiple peoples’ lives, murdered a few teenagers and is still living undetected? A little far fetched for me.
Anyway, I’ve been a fan of Shay Mitchell since the show started. Not only is the part Filipino, part Irish model and actress stunning, but she is so down to earth! (I know that because I’ve read a few interviews with her so I feel qualified to make such a huge character judgement call on Mitchell).
I was pleasantly surprised when I read her interview with Teen Vogue this month. The 26-year-old starlet says she never thought twice about playing a lesbian role because she has a lot of gay friends and family.
“I’m not playing the gothic chick dressed in all black who eats lunch in a corner and is a lesbian,” Mitchell said. “If you look at the poster, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to pinpoint which one of us is the lesbian, and that was really important to me.”
Heck, that is really important to me also! If you look at a poster of me and my friends (because everyone has a poster, right?) you wouldn’t automatically peg me as the one that bats for the other team.
Mitchell is so down to earth in fact, that she doesn’t even feel like she needs to talk about her own sexuality.
“People always ask me, ‘Are you gay like your character?’ But I don’t feel like I need to answer, because honestly, it doesn’t matter.”
Wow, how trendy of you Shay Mitchell.
Shockingly, Mitchell hasn’t always embraced her seemingly flawless look. While she is the first to admit that people on the show have jobs with the sole purpose being to make sure none of the actress’s have double chins or play in a scene waking up looking like they did, actually just wake up, she said she wasn’t comfortable with her look for a long time.
“I grew up in a predominately Caucasian community and most of my friends had blonde hair and blue eyes,” Mitchell said. “So I was always straightening my hair, wearing colored contacts, and I never tanned, if I could help it. Now that I’m older, I realize that the things that made me different are the things that make me special.”
Well Shay Mitchell you are definitely special. Keep up the good work and go focus on figuring out who “A” is like the smart and pretty lesbian you are!