Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany became visibly emotional while explaining why she’s such a strong ally of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
“It’s just a no-brainer to me,” said the Regina native as her eyes welled up.
“It just makes no sense that there wouldn’t be support for the community. That there even has to be a separate community,” Maslany said in the interview with glaad. “I don’t understand why there’s a line drawn.”
On the Toronto-shot series Orphan Black, the acclaimed actress portrays several characters, including bisexual Cosima and transgender Tony. Her co-star, Ontario actor Jordan Gavaris, plays gay character Felix Dawkins.
“We offer good representation in terms of complex characters that aren’t defined necessarily just by their sexuality but by every facet of what it is to be a person,” Maslany explained.
“One of my favourite things that’s ever been written on our show was when [Cosima] said, ‘My sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me.'”
Maslany, 29, said she is proud of the way Cosima’s relationship with Delphine (played by Montreal’s Évelyne Brochu) is depicted.
“They’re not on show. They’re not on display for the male gaze,” she told glaad. “They’re not sexualized in that way but they are sexual with each other. It’s about the love between them, it’s not about the fact that they’re two women.”
Maslany praised Gavaris for bringing wisdom and “such a heart” to Felix.
“He’s got such a beautiful complex portrayal of his character,” she said.
Last summer, during an appearance at Comic-Con, Maslany teared up when a fan asked her how it feels to be “saving lives” with her positive portrayal of a lesbian character.
Maslany has twice won a Canadian Screen Award for her work on Orphan Black and was nominated for a Screen Actors’ Guild Award and Golden Globe.
Maslany, who has dated actor Tom Cullen since 2011, said everyone involved in Orphan Black recognizes that the series has resonated with LGBT viewers and their friends and families.
“I totally feel grateful that I’ve had these experiences with fans who are coming out because of Orphan Black or are able to talk to their parents about what it is to be gay or what it is to be trans because of Orphan Black,” she said.
“We’re so humbled by that response and take it seriously.”