Lea DeLaria said she was a victim of a violent assault that sent her to the hospital when she was in her twenties.
The Orange Is the New Black actor, 63, told Page Six she recalled getting "gay-bashed" in San Francisco at 24.
“My nose was broken, chipped an eye socket, had several cracked ribs,” she told Page Six. “I’ve been verbally abused more times than you can mention in my life, and that still goes on. There’s always someone who’s going to call me a fat guy.”
DeLaria said that her involvement in Orange Is The New Black has helped stop harassment, but the violence she faced before is common for butch lesbians.
“That’s a fact. We get attacked more than any other women in our community,” DeLaria said, according to Page Six. “It’s always been rough on trans women, very rough especially for trans women of color, and it’s always been incredibly rough on butch lesbians.”
“What Orange has done for me, as a butch lesbian, is, it’s opened up people’s hearts and minds to women who look like me. Because Orange was the first positive representation of a butch lesbian that I’ve ever seen in mainstream media,” she added.
DeLaria is currently working on “The Lesbian Bar Project.” The documentary is an initiative with Jägermeister’s #SAVETHENIGHT, which supports the nightlife community after COVID-19.
Page Six reported that a mere 21 lesbian bars are still open in the U.S.
“[When] I walk into a dyke bar, I’m walking into my sense of community, my sense of safety, my sense of camaraderie,” DeLaria told the outlet.