NPHHedwig licks Samuel L Jackson’s glasses | @Ditzkoff
I was underdressed the day we shot Larry’s pivotal phone call with Piper for the first season of Orange is the New Black. It was 9 degrees on Fifth Avenue, and I wore New Balances and a pair of wool socks — but I sucked it up because this was the climax of their season-long arc: A scene where both characters are finally forced to be honest after months of lying to each other. It was a scene I’d written with words shamelessly borrowed from my own life, and as I watched Jason Biggs repeat “I don’t know if you can,” after Piper begs him to let her fix her mistakes, the world around me swirled in a dizzying blur of life imitating art. Or vice versa — it’s hard to say sometimes. By the end of the day I mostly was trying not to cry, and I also couldn’t feel my feet.
In any story worth telling, there’s conflict. And so, while it certainly would have been disorienting to begin to question my sexuality after three decades of knowing myself, it was particularly blinding because I’d gotten married only a few months before. It was the sort of wedding that makes you believe in absolute partnership and the strength that can come from facing obstacles, like the life-threatening illness that my new husband had battled for the majority of our relationship. But he was healthy again, so we danced under strings of Christmas lights and drank fancy cocktails that were served in mason jars, all while being surrounded by the friends and family who had held us up over the previous six years.
Which is why it’s now a punch in the gut every time I have to say, “I’m getting divorced because I’m gay.”