Actress Natalie Morales says her role
in Battle of the Sexes inspired her to come out queer.
The 32-year-old Morales is best know
for playing Lucy on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation and
Anne Garcia in Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet.
Morales came out in June in a lengthy
essay published on the online community Amy Poehler's Smart Girls.
“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,” Morales wrote. “What queer means to
me is just simply that I'm not straight.”
In an interview with Bon Appetit
– in which she tells beets they can go “fuck” themselves –
Morales said that older people close to her urged her not to come
“My friends and family knew I was
queer before I wrote that article, but a lot of older people close to
me urged me not to come out. They thought it would affect my career
and people would pigeonhole me into certain roles. But that was a
risk that I was willing to take, because even if one kid felt
understood and one adult's mind was changed in any way, then it was
worth it,” Morales
Morales plays Rosie Casals in the
Billie Jean King biopic Battle of the Sexes,
which deals in part with King's struggle to come out gay in the 70s.
“I was fighting for LGBTQ rights [in
discussing the movie], yet I wasn't actually part of a conversation
because I wasn't out publicly,” she said. “I sacrificed privacy
because representation matters.”