Renee Rapp at the Variety 2023 Power Of Young Hollywood Celebration

Reneé Rapp Credits 'The Sex Lives of College Girls' For Helping Her Come Out

Home / News / Reneé Rapp Credits 'The Sex Lives of College Girls' For Helping Her Come Out

By Afouda Bamidele on February 29, 2024 at 9:45 AM EST

Reneé Rapp has credited one Hollywood show for helping her to come out.

As the singer detailed in a recent interview, being a part of Mindy Kaling's "The Sex Lives of College Girls" made her coming out experience smoother than if she had approached it differently.

Rapp's reaffirmation of her lesbian identity comes amid her speaking openly about a traumatic experience when she was drugged and assaulted after being abandoned by her friends at a hotel in Los Angeles. 

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'The Sex Lives of College Girls' Aided Reneé Rapp's Coming Out Experience Beyond Her Imagination

Since joining the entertainment industry in 2018, Rapp has become more candid about events in her life. She maintained that momentum during her latest conversation with US media, where she opened up about how taking on the role of Leighton Murray, an affluent student at Essex College in "Sex Lives," helped her come out.

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Renee Rap at HBO's The Sex Lives of College Girls Series Premiere
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In the first season of the teen comedy-drama television series, Leighton is in the closet until a significant moment with Pauline Chalamet's character, where she tearfully confesses to being romantically involved with another woman. 

Even though she was acting, Rapp asserted that the coming out scene with Chalamet felt incredibly authentic because of how accurate the emotions were at that moment. In her words:

"I think it made it a lot easier in ways that pissed me off, but I'm also really grateful for. That [show] was the most parallel experience in my life, and I remember doing that specific coming out scene and not acting at all. I was just sobbing. I see that, and I don't see a character. I'm like, 'That's me.'"

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The "Mean Girls" star mentioned that beyond helping her come out, playing the role of Leighton also boosted the confidence of those around her, who she may have previously been unsure about. As she told The Hollywood Reporter for its cover story:

"Look, this is good and bad. Being celebrated for being out because of a TV show or celebrity or success or something was really interesting because I think it forced a lot of people in my life and my family to have to accept me in a weird way, and in some ways that are twisted, like, 'D—n, we could have done that a long time ago without her being on a TV show.'" 

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Rapp's Assault In Los Angeles Resulted In Her Cutting Some People Off

Renee Rap at the 'Cats' World Premiere

During the same conversation, Rapp also shared how being assaulted helped shape her into the person she has become today. After noting that she "still feel[s] like I'm sorting through those feelings," she stated:

"I do understand that it was an incredibly traumatic experience that I don't remember at all. And it feels weird to talk about because I don't remember it."

Recalling the traumatic experience that happened two years ago in a Los Angeles hotel, the "Not My Fault" singer disclosed waking up "in a bathroom stall at The Beverly Hilton, lying on my back with blood on my pants" after being "left alone at that point for about seven hours."

Even though she has problems recalling exactly what happened due to being drugged, the North Carolina native acknowledged that she holds her friends accountable for the incident, which prompted her to take drastic measures. She detailed:

"I just recently started to be like, 'Wait, the people that let this happen to me suck.' I recently was like, 'I actually don't want to follow this person on Instagram anymore because they left me at a club to get drugged.' God knows what happened to me." 

While she just followed through on cutting her now-ex-friends off on social media, the 24-year-old admitted that the entire event opened her eyes to something she was avoiding before. Rapp claimed:

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"I also think, in hindsight, I was really struggling with my sexuality, and I was like, 'OK, well, this boy is kind of giving me validation, and this is a straight group of people.' I knew, but I didn't know to the extent, and I made a lot of excuses for it, but all my friends knew. [They] were like, 'What the f— is going on? You realize you've been out every single night, and it's a Tuesday. That's wild.'"

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