Parks and Recreation star Natalie Morales has come out as queer in a moving essay.
The actor and director, known for playing Lucy on Parks and Rec as well as roles in The Grinder and The Santa Clarita Diet wrote the essay for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls website.
In it, she talks about her early life and growing up Catholic with a single mum.
She says she remembers a gay friend of her mother’s buying her school supplies.
Morales says by the time she reached high school she knew that she was attracted to men and women.
After a relationship with a female student, Morales says she was left with feelings of self-hate.
“I was told bisexuals were degenerates who are selfish and just want the best of both worlds. I was told gay men are fine because they’re funny and have good taste, but lesbian women are wastes of space. I was told the idea of two women kissing was disgusting,” she writes.
Going on, she adds: “I don’t like labeling myself, or anyone else, but if it’s easier for you to understand me, what I’m saying is that I’m queer. What queer means to me is just simply that I’m not straight. That’s all. It’s not scary, even though that word used to be really, really scary to me.”
Morales does note positive changes for LGBT young people since she was younger.
She also mentions attacks on the LGBT community such as the purge of gay people in Chechnya and the Orlando Pulse massacre.
Fellow Parks and Rec star Aubrey Plaza last July came out as bisexual.
The actress who played April Ludgate in the hit TV show, has said that she “falls in love with girls and and guys”.
In an interview with The Advocate, the film and TV star said: “I know I have an androgynous thing going on, and there’s something masculine about my energy. Girls are into me — that’s no secret. Hey, I’m into them too. I fall in love with girls and guys. I can’t help it.”
The actor, who has also starred in films such as ‘Life after Beth’, ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ and ‘Dirty Grandpa’, added that she feels her tastes are like that of an old gay man’s and that she “grew up obsessed with Judy Garland”.