Renée Rapp Struggled to Come Out as Bisexual While Filming 'TSLOCG'

Renée Rapp Struggled to Come Out as Bisexual While Filming ‘TSLOCG’

Instagram / @reneerapp

Rising star Renée Rapp said she hated filming the first season of The Sex Lives of College Girls. “The first year of doing College Girls was terrible, it sucked so bad…”

Renée Rapp recently appeared on an episode of Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast and opened up about questioning her sexuality which impacted the early stages of her career. The actor and singer is well-known for her role as Leighton Murray in HBO Max’s teen drama, The Sex Lives of College Girls, and recently released a new EP called Everything to Everyone. Anyone familiar with the show knows that Leighton recently came out as lesbian to her friends in season two of the series. Unfortunately, coming out for Rapp was not as easy.


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Rapp Talks Coming Out in a Small Town

The 23-year-old actress grew up in a small, conservative town in North Carolina. So when she realized she had a crush on a girl at her high school with cool dyed hair, she went home and had a full-on gay crisis.

“I had never heard anything surrounding [being gay] in a positive light because the one queer person that I knew in my life is a family member of mine who I really looked up to, who got absolutely sh*tted on by everybody in our family.”

Due to her lack of knowledge about the community and the pressure from her peers, Rap felt forced to identify as either straight or lesbian.

“I was like, ‘Well, have to pick a side. Gotta be a lesbian,'” she said to Cooper.

It was not until later, when she confided in a close friend, that she discovered the term bisexuality. During their phone call, her friend helped her realize she did not have to “pick sides” and that being attracted to all genders was okay.

“And I was like, ‘You’re kidding?!’ That was so intriguing to me.”

After discovering herself, Rap attempted to come out to her friends and family. Unfortunately, they were not as accepting as she had hoped. “I was just, like, laughed at every time I tried to come out. So then I never really talked about it.

“To be honest, I feel like my genuine coming out to my family — close and extended — has been doing College Girls. Because now that part of me is on display in a very palatable way.”


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Why Rapp Said She Hated Filming TSLOCG S1

The Sex Lives of College Girls follows four college roommates as they juggle sex, relationships, careers, and everything else that comes with adulthood. Going into filming, Rapp said she struggled to play Leighton because of her insecurities around her sexuality.

“The first year of doing College Girls was terrible, it sucked so bad, because at the time, I was in a heteronormative relationship and I hated going to work because I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m good enough to be here. I don’t think I can be here. I don’t think I can be doing this’… and then I would come home and I would psyche myself out, literally.


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“I called one of my friends and I was like, ‘I am straight, like, I think I’m just straight; I can’t do this.’… I was in a panic constantly, and I wasn’t [straight] but I was so freaked out by the idea of my sexuality not being finite or people laughing at me, or me laughing at myself, that I hated the first year of filming.”

It did not help that viewers of the series pressured her to label herself because she plays gay on TV. A similar situation happened to Heartstopper star Kit Connor who was forced to come out as bisexual over queerbaiting accusations.

“Congrats for forcing an 18-year-old to out himself,” the actor wrote on Twitter. “I think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye.”

Inspiring a New Generation

Luckily, both actors have cut ties with the people (or apps) that do not support them.

“Now I’m on a TV show and I’m very publicly out and accepted as a bisexual woman and on the show as a gay woman,” Rapp said about her inclusive series. “I wanted to play the role in a way that, if I saw it as a kid, it would feel good to me.”

We love you, Renée!

Renée Rapp Struggled to Come Out as Bisexual While Filming ‘TSLOCG’
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