“Parks And Recreation” Actress Natalie Morales Comes Out

"If it's easier for you to understand me, what I'm saying is that I'm queer."

Natalie Morales, an actress best known for her work on Parks and Recreation and The Grinder, has come out publicly as queer.

Morales, 32, who claims to be a very private person, recently wrote a personal essay about her sexuality on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls website.

“I am not attracted specifically to any type of gender,” writes Morales, who says she has dated both women and men. “I’m attracted to people. Each person is their own incredible, massive universe. That is what I am attracted to; that is what I want to know, want to love, want to defend, want to take care of.”

“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,” she clarifies. “What queer means to me is just simply that I’m not straight. That’s all. It’s not scary, even though that word used to be really, really scary to me.”

“The reason I decided to share this with you and with the world is because even though me telling you I’m queer might not be a big deal these days, things are still pretty bad out there for people like me,” Morales continues, pointing to Chechnya’s anti-gay purge and last year’s attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. “I think it’s important that I tell you that this familiar face you see on your TV is the Q part of LGBTQ, so that if you didn’t know someone who was queer before, you do now.”

Morales also opens up in the post about the years she spent feeling “sick” and “ashamed” because of what she was taught about LGBT people. “So while I’ll still insist on privacy, and I still don’t want you to know who I’m dating, you should know that it could be anyone,” she concludes. “And that’s okay, because that’s what it’s supposed to be. Because that’s me.”

“I’m coming out,” she later tweeted. “I want the world to know.”

This past year Morales has appeared on shows such as Grace and Frankie, Powerless, and Santa Clarita Diet.

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