Feature image via Cosmopolitan
Somewhere in the middle of Pretty Little Liars‘ sixth season — while Emily Fields ran around in a the woods in the dark getting murdered a hundred times, and the other Liars fell in and out of love with boys — rumors started to swirl around the internet that PLL‘s writers had stopped giving Emily girlfriends because Shay Mitchell was tired of kissing women. Well, that turns out to be a big fat lie, because Shay Mitchell is not not gay and is maybe going to get herself a girlfriend when she’s 50 years old (which would involve kissing girls, which means she’s fine with it).
Shay is helping the world get ready for “Crazy, Sexy, Wild, OMG Summer Love” on the cover of this month’s Cosmopolitan, and that OMG love, for her, as a woman, could be with another woman, she told the magazine, who told Entertainment Tonight, who told me. Shay Mitchell is “never going to label herself.”
“When I started, people were like, ‘What are you?’ I’m like, right now I’m dating a guy. I don’t know what it’s going to be in three years. You love who you love,” she reveals. “Black, white, polka-dot, that’s what my dad always said … I could be 50 and dating a woman and then what? I said I was straight and now I’m not?”
This is, apparently, not an isolated sentiment. Two entire months ago Shay appeared on Ingrid Nilsin’s The Grid Monster and said the exact same thing.
Yes, the woman who plays one of the most beloved lesbian characters in TV history told a famous real life queer woman that she “doesn’t know” if she gay. TWO ENTIRE MONTHS. And it wasn’t a big deal! No one even told me! Have we now reached the place where Riese’s theory that everyone is queer is just accepted as IRL canon?
When I started in this business, if you interviewed an actress who played a lesbian or bisexual character, she’d spend the whole interview telling you about her husband and how being straight was like the main thing in her life, super main thing, more then breathing or eating, what she needed was just to be straight and for the world to know she was straight. Not anymore, suckas!
Shay Mitchell joins a long line of Canadian women — including Lost Girl‘s Zoie Palmer and Bomb Girls‘ Ali Liebert — who have pretended to be queer on television and later announced they weren’t exactly straight off of TV, either. When you add Ellen Page to this tally, you really start to wonder if Nova Scotia is the new Lesbos.
I want the Pretty Little Liars I fell in love with to come back to me in season seven, but if it doesn’t, I’m still really hyped that someone as famous and beloved as Shay Mitchell is out there in the world defying heteronormativity and smashing patriarchal ideals. I just hope no fake cousins come to town and chase her to the top of a lighthouse where she has to stab them in the guts to keep them from murdering her girlfriend who’s tied up in the closet. May she have Emily’s way with the ladies, but not her luck.