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‘Orange Is the New Black’ Lea DeLaria Talks About Butch Visibility

During the Netflix dramedy’s panel on Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour, the cast of Orange Is the New Black were on hand to field questions from reporters on the show.

In attendance was Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Taryn Manning, Selenis Leyva, Lea DeLaria and Natasha Lyonne.

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Although the cast were tight-lipped about its fourth season, they did shed a lot of light on the show to-date.

One thing they did discuss was the impact the show had made on LGBT visibility.

The show is considered a force for the LGBT movement. With its diverse characters and raw storytelling, it has been a voice for those who have long been without one.

DeLaria, who plays Boo, said the Netflix series has helped to “win the hearts and minds of people.”

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In season 3 we got to see Boo’s backstory. DeLaria expanded on the similarities between her own past and Boo’s, praising OITNB’s writers, and adding that.

I actually had to call [writer] Lauren Morelli and ask if she had read my f—king diary. Butches have a shared life experience and you saw all of it in Boo’s backstory.

She continued.

“My parents actually learned. They actually listened to me. They actually became people who understood that being comfortable in my own skin and having no apologies for who I am was an important thing in this world. And then, they grew to understand me and I grew to understand them, and we love each other very dearly and were very close until the day they both passed.

So that’s the only difference, I think, between Boo’s story and mine. Unfortunately, the story that they showed, Boo’s story, is all too common. Way too common.”

The Netflix star also spoke about impact on the LGBT community:

The politics of the LGBT community has been about gaining our rights, fighting for our rights, achieving our rights. And recently it’s been turned a little bit more towards winning the hearts and minds of people.”

DeLaria added.

A large part of what we’ve done [with regards to] the politics of the LGBT community has been about gaining our rights, fighting for our rights and achieving our rights. Recently, it’s turned more toward winning the hearts and minds of people. I feel very strongly that Orange Is the New Black has been very important in that part of what has happened to us and our community.”

DeLaria and cast-mates are currently shooting Season 4 of Orange.

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