‘Supergirl’: Chyler Leigh Talks About The Power Of Alex’s Coming Out

Supergirl Melissa Benoist

Supergirl season 2 has been full of high-flying action, a variety of villains, and captivating character arcs. One arc that’s had people talking for awhile now is Alex Danvers’ (Chyler Leigh) coming out. Sitting down with TV Insider, Leigh spoke about the arc and its impact on Supergirl fans.

It has been such a wild ride and there has been an overwhelming amount of positive responses. I mean, I’ll get little negative comments here and there, but I think that is more from the people who maybe don’t have that acceptance of what our world is today. But I’ve gotten thousands of messages and pictures from people telling me their stories. If this isn’t an amazing opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity as a whole and also touch people individually, I don’t know what is.

Hearing countless personal stories from viewers touched by the Supergirl storyline, Leigh said that some have even brought her to tears. It’s also an arc that speaks to people for the fact it ultimately boils down to someone figuring out who they truly are.

That is a lot of what I have gotten, the fact that is is this point in her life, this crossroads or place where she is genuinely trying to figure out who she is outside of the identities that other people have given her. She’s the sister, she’s the daughter, she’s the hero without a cape. She is devoted to the people she loves but it was never really explored last season. There was that stuff between Alex and Maxwell (Peter Facinelli) and even with that, you never got the impression of “Oh yeah she’s gay!” or “She’s straight!”

It took a little time, but Alex eventually discovered the truth about herself apart from all the identities she’s had to wrestle with her whole life.

And that is what I am learning from all of this, that age doesn’t determine exactly what points you will be in your life or who you are. I mean, I’m 34 and I am sill figuring life out. I’m a mom, I’m married…and when you have kids, theres a whole new level of “Who am I?” [Laughs] It really is something that really brings a lot of hope to people, the idea that you don’t have to have it all figured out. The important thing is being honest with yourself, because if you can’t do that, you won’t be able to be honest with the people around you. And all that does if just eat at you.

Still, it took a truly special lady to help Alex open up to her new reality. New to season 2, NCPD officer Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) captured Alex’s eye almost immediately. And part of that seems to be thanks to the casting process.

I was insistent on being part of the casting process. I had to know we got the right one. Floriana was the second girl to come in, and as soon as she walked in, I knew it was her. I could see her heart and there was something special about our connection. I am just so invested in telling this story the right way.

The Supergirl storyline also came about at a pivital moment that hit Leigh hard.

I found out about this storyline the night before the Orlando nightclub shooting. I woke up to that news and just started sobbing. I thought, “My God, we have to do justice to a story that, in real life, affects so many people.”

Through all of the ups and downs and the story’s unfolding, there have been many emotional moments. However, there’s one in particular that’s resonated with many fans. When Alex’s mom (Helen Slater) came to visit National City, she sensed something was going on with her daughter and confronted Alex about it. This confrontation lead to a particularly powerful moment where Eliza Danvers simply accepted her daughter for who she was.

Talk about a response you genuinely want to have! That has also been a big part of the reaction I have seen, people just seeing her acceptance from a motherly standpoint. People need to see that.

It’s [really brave] to get to that point, to talk to the people you are closest to who you have this fear of hurting—and that was Alex’s biggest fear, that she was going to disappoint them by not being the person they hoped she was going to be. You know? She thought that all she was going to do was hurt them and that is the last thing she wanted to happen, but could no longer deny who she was and where she’s at. Like, “I want a hug,” but Alex isn’t going to ask for that! [Laughs]

Ultimately, Alex’s coming out has been a journey not only for the Supergirl character and the fans, but for Leigh herself.

What I appreciate so much is what this has done for me as a human. As a woman. It’s helped me see my own insecurities that I have been able to let go of or understand better…because I’m human. We’re all in this together. And I am just so honored and humbled by what this story is doing. It’s so powerful.

As Alex and Maggie’s relationship progresses, we’ll surely see more ups and downs, and it sounds like one is coming in the form of a special Valentine’s episode centered around the two women.

Before that day comes, Alex, her super sister (Melissa Benoist), and her fellow DEO agents will have to contend with the return of Livewire and a White Martian running amuck.

Supergirl airs on Monday nights at 8/7c on The CW.

Source: TV Insider

Whitney Eklof

Whitney Eklof

Whitney Eklof is a nerd, gamer, and media lover. She spends her days undercover managing a marketing team and comes out at night to write...