"I couldn't be more happy to be by your side."

Morgan Noll
June 29, 2020
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Roy Rochlin, Getty Images

Taylor Schilling played one of the 2010s most talked about queer characters on TV. For seven seasons, she played Piper Chapman, the bisexual lead in Netflix's Orange Is The New Black, but, until now, she hadn't been public about her own personal relationships or sexual orientation (which is entirely her right, of course.) On Sunday, June 28th, visual artist Emily Ritz—who reports say is Schilling's girlfriend—posted an image of the two on her Instagram Story.

In the photo, the couple is embracing and Ritz tagged Schilling writing, "I couldn't be more happy to be by your side. Happy Pride!"

Ritz added two heart and one rainbow emojis over the photo, beneath the text. Schilling then shared the post to her Instagram Story, adding a series of red heart emojis—seemingly going public with the relationship for the first time.

As reported by Out, the two began dating late last year after meeting through mutual friends.

@lumpland, Instagram

On Sunday, Schilling also posted a tribute to LGBTQ+ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson in an Instagram post. "Here because of women like you. Happy Pride my friends," she wrote.

In the past, Schilling has opted to remain private about her sexuality and sexual orientation, particularly as the Netflix show ignited interest in and questions about her personal life. (In the series, her character Piper was married to a man and had a long-term relationship with a woman, Alex Vause, played by Laura Prepon. The show identified her as bisexual in the seventh season.) In 2016, she told People that the Orange Is the New Black-sparked interested in her love life was "so weird." And when asked about her sexuality in 2017 she told The Standard, "I think it's pretty invasive. I really don’t fit into a box—that’s too reductive."

Still, even with coming forward with her relationship to Ritz, Schilling hasn't come out with a label for her sexuality—and she doesn't have to. We're happy she's happy, and that's that.