Feature image of Diane Guerrero by Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb
There’s no accounting for the timing of the universe, and so it is with great joy that I say, a mere three years after the final episode of Orange Is the New Black (a show that has graduated more queer alums and coming out’s of almost any show this side of The L Word) that Diane Guerrero — all around outstanding acting talent and powerful advocate for immigrants’ rights, and for those of you who were hanging around OITNB fandom in the early-to-mid ‘10s, of Maritza and Flaca fame — has chosen today to let us in on the fact that she’s been exploring her sexuality and would like to consider a queer farming commune as her eventual happy ending.
Guerrero reflects on these points as a part of a serious and honestly beautiful profile for Insider as a part of their Latine Heritage Month coverage. In it, Guerrero takes journalist Libby Torres on “a tour of her tattoos” — including a pair of lips holding a rose supposedly looks like a vulva — to discuss four letters near her wrist. The letters IPOC (standing for Indigenous people of color) were chosen by Guerrero after deciding against QTPOC because of her gender identity and sexuality at the time.
Guerrero notes that times have since changed, “I support trans lives, and I am exploring my sexual identity… so maybe I’ll add the QT.”
In the interview, she goes on to explain that she and her partner, Bryan Crawford, have been going to therapy to discuss, among other things, the possibilities of ethical non-monogamy and polyamory. When she envisions a future, she sees a big farm property that she’ll share with multiple “babies daddies” and partners, not all of whom would be straight, cisgender men. She’s also been reading up on her own and rethinking how monogamy has historically been a tool of colonialism (listen OK, points are made).
Recently, Guerrero has spoken about how two characters she plays — Isabela, in the favorite of queer musical theatre nerds and children under the age of ten everywhere, Encanto and Jane on DC’s Doom Patrol, in which she currently stars — are both gay. She’s also attended multiple Pride parades (often with her OITNB cast mates), but she’s remained relatively quiet about her own sexual orientation before now.
Guerrero also discusses the realities of growing up as a first generation immigrant kid, and having to grow up on her own after her parents were deported when she was 14. That might feel familiar to anyone who’s followed Guerrero’s career closely, but I was struck by her raw honesty when discussing not only the pressures to perform perfection as a way of justifying her parents’ sacrifice (and to make a point about the cruelty of the US government in deporting them), but also the misguided resentment she felt particularly to her mother for leaving Diane to navigate first periods and bras alone – even though she didn’t have a choice. It’s messy and unfair because family separation is always unjust, and everyone’s left to make due with the pieces that handed to them, puzzles that never quite fit. After years of cleaning homes in the United States for next to nothing, at 69 years old Guerrero’s father was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which you get through inhaling asbestos. She highlights the point, “Thank you, American dream.”
I wanted to paint the entire picture because, at its core, this is more than a soft launch coming out in a magazine profile. Any day that another queer polyam Latina is walking around among us is a bit brighter than the day before. I’m so happy for Diane Guerrero as she keeps exploring and chasing her own joy. I wish her nothing less.
(And yes, for anyone out there who’s curious or keeping count, that’s 13 queer OITNB cast members now.)