The Surprising Way Emily Hampshire Discovered Her Sexual Identity On Schitt's Creek

Maybe "Schitt's Creek" should have been called "The Little Show That Could." The offbeat Canadian comedy was almost unheard of in the U.S. until it began airing on Netflix. Suddenly, millions of new viewers were binge-watching the saga of the Rose family as they went from Hollywood wealth and fame to a more modest — but far more rewarding — life in the sleepy title town. The final season of the show made history when it swept all the major acting, writing, and comedy series Emmy Awards (via Emmys). 

The show also won acclaim for its positive portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters and issues. The relationship between David Rose and his boyfriend Patrick (who married on the series finale) was not only accepted, but also celebrated by both their families and the larger Schitt's Creek community. The sitcom won additional awards for this sensitivity — but more importantly, it won the appreciation of hundreds of parents of gay children, who wrote the producers to express their gratitude (via NY Daily News).

In a surprising twist, "Schitt's Creek" made a big difference in the life of one of its stars. Emily Hampshire, who played the motel clerk Stevie Budd, credits the show and its creator for helping her claim her own personal truth. In an interview on Demi Lovato's podcast (as reported by The Hollywood Reporter), Hampshire explained that filming the "Wine and Roses" episode during the show's first season was a revelation to her.

Emily Hampshire related to one particular episode

In the "Wine and Roses" episode, David Rose (played by Dan Levy, who is openly gay) compares his sexuality to wine: "Um, I do drink red wine, but I also drink white wine. And I've been known to sample the occasional rosé," David says (via Wine Enthusiast). "And a couple summers back, I tried a Merlot that used to be a Chardonnay, which got a bit complicated ..."

Emily Hampshire said "Schitt's Creek" taught her the word "pansexual," which means being capable of being sexually attracted to anyone. "Cut to about five years later. I was dating someone and I saw on these message boards people being like, 'Is Stevie a lesbian?' 'Is Emily gay?' 'Who's Emily?'" she said. "I said to Dan, I was like, 'This is so weird. What am I?' Because I truly just fell in love with a person and where they were on the gender spectrum did not matter to me. And since then, it really doesn't matter to me. I have to like the person. I'm really attracted to a person's vibe. He was like, 'You're pansexual. Don't you watch our show?'" (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Levy had a policy that the show would never venture into homophobia or subject the characters to ridicule. Hampshire credits this for the show's popularity. She told PopSugar, "It always ends up being 'love is love.' That is the takeaway, and I think it's done it better than anything I've ever seen."