Reneé Rapp Coming Out As A Lesbian On "SNL" Was A Last-Minute Decision, And I'm So Proud Of Her

Back in January, Reneé Rapp made her Saturday Night Live debut as a musical guest alongside the episode's host, Jacob Elordi. And, as musical guests sometimes do, she made a fun little cameo in a sketch during the show.

Reneé Rapp stands with Jacob Elordi and Bowen Yang on the SNL set
Nbc / Rosalind O'Connor / NBC via Getty Images

During the sketch titled "Entertainment Tonight Lip-Readers," Reneé publicly came out as a lesbian for the very first time. Cast member Bowen Yang introduced Reneé — who played herself — as a "little lesbian intern." Previously, Reneé had identified as bisexual.

Jacob Elordi, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, and Bowen Yang on "Saturday Night Live" in a sketch featuring a joke about Reneé Rapp as an intern

In an interview with Them, Reneé opened up about the experience, revealing that coming out on air was actually a last-minute decision. She approached SNL writer Celeste Yim backstage, asking to change "bisexual intern" — which was originally written in the script — to "gay intern."

A closeup of Reneé Rapp on the red carpet
Gilbert Flores / Billboard via Getty Images

“They were so sweet — and obviously, they were going to be so sweet. But to me, I was thinking about being so afraid to publicly change my identity. I didn’t want anybody to be upset with me," she said of the experience. Reneé, who'd essentially been unofficially crowned as a bi-icon on the internet, was hesitant about switching the label publicly, fearful doing so would "make bisexual people feel shitty," and that referring to herself as "gay" would prompt backlash from fellow queer people who felt like she was inappropriately using the label. "I felt so wrapped up and scared."

Reneé Rapp performs on stage, wearing a corset, jacket, and gloves, holding a microphone while lying on the ground
NBC / Via

Reneé — having privately identified as a lesbian for some time — came to the realization when she found herself amongst a mostly-queer friend group during a previous relationship. “All of a sudden, I had these people around me who were either nonbinary people, trans friends, or lesbians, and I was like, ‘I feel so happy when I’m with you guys. And I also really want to call myself a lesbian when I’m around you.’”

Reneé Rapp rocks with wavy hair as she wears a blouse with a deep neckline on the red carpet
Taylor Hill / Getty Images

Still, though, the singer felt pressure to be certain about her sexuality, feeling the pull between the "lesbian" identity she found herself drawn to and the importance of not invalidating her bisexuality. “When you’re bisexual, you almost want to prove yourself, so I thought it was kind of that," she explained. "But it came to be that, no, I’m actually just gay like that.”

Reneé Rapp performs on stage wearing a loose jersey top with the number "28" and jeans
Lisa Dragani / Getty Images

Ultimately, Reneé phoned a friend about what she should do on SNL, and they encouraged her to come out on the show. So, she asked to change the script one last time, calling herself a "little lesbian intern." And the rest is gay history.

Reneé Rapp performing onstage with another musician
Timothy Norris / Getty Images for Coachella

After the episode, she revealed that she stayed off her phone for a few days, saying, "I was so fucking terrified and felt so shitty, but then it was just, like, a thing, and it felt good."

A smiling Reneé Rapp dressed in a dark jacket stands on stage, holding an award in one hand and a mobile phone in the other while speaking into a microphone
Variety / Variety via Getty Images

You can watch the full SNL sketch below and read her full Them profile here:

Looking for more LGBTQ+ or Pride content? Then check out all of BuzzFeed's posts celebrating Pride 2024.

Artwork featuring stylized portraits of three people with a vibrant "Pride Month 2024" text in varied colors across the top