Our favorite ladies of Litchfield attended a TCA panel where they discussed Season Four of Orange is the New Black and the show's impact on the LGBT movement. It's no secret that media plays a big role in affecting people's opinions, and with a growing presence of queer characters and stories for a mainstream audience, social change has been rapid.
Lea DeLaria (Big Boo) shared her personal experience with this change:
"I live in Bushwick, a ghetto in Brooklyn, and an 80-year-old woman came up to me pushing her teenage granddaughter toward me. Five years ago, that would never happen. It’s an amazing turn of events, and I give it completely up to Orange in that respect ... What we’ve done is a large part of the LGBT community getting rights, fighting for rights and achieving our rights. It’s been about winning the hearts and the minds of people, and Orange Is The New Black has been an important part of what has happened in our community."
Selenis Leyva (Gloria Mendoza) spoke about a particularly intense scene with Laverne Cox and the extra care she took:
"I have a transgender sister myself. I had to say things that might be in a fight on a daily basis. It was a hard scene to do, particularly so that I didn’t offend her. The scene had to be done in a way as to educate, rather than foster more hate. I had a conversation with [OITNB creator] Jenji [Kohan] that I didn’t want Gloria to be the villain ... We’re showing the world that it’s OK to have different women and people represented. Netflix has been bold. We started a trend, and that trend is to be diverse — to be a butch, to be a Latina — we started something."
Season Four of Orange is the New Black is currently in production and will premiere in summer 2016.