Pretty Little Liars star, Shay Mitchell, has come under scrutiny for refusing to label her sexual orientation. Her character on the show, Emily, is a lesbian, so some people thought they saw parallels. Mitchell said she thinks it’s “normal” to have that role, citing that she has many gay friends and that her aunt had a girlfirend.

“And the way that fans have reacted [to my portrayal of Emily] has been amazing: I’m not playing the gothic chick dressed in all black who eats lunch in the corner and is a lesbian,” Mitchell said. “If you look at the poster, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to pinpoint which one of us is the lesbian, and that was really important to me.”

People have pressed her on what her sexual orientation is, but to no avail. When the topic comes up, she says, “I don’t feel like I need to answer, because honestly, it doesn’t matter.”

She went on, “…right now I’m dating a guy. I don’t know what it’s going to be in three years. You love who you love. Black, white, polka dot, that’s what my dad always said. I could be 50 and dating a woman and then what? I said I was straight and now I’m not?'”

Though her sexuality has come up in the news recently, Mitchell is staying focused and has plans to keep growing as an actress and a person. “I’d rather have a company. I don’t want to be dependent on a call from my agent — taking projects I’m not ok with because I need to,” she said of her post-PLL plans. “To be honest, winning an Oscar is not one of my goals.”

Mitchell is starring alongside Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts in the recently released movie Mother’s Day, maintaining her lifestyle blog, “Amore & Vita,” and finishing up the seventh season of PLL, which will air in June. There is speculation that it will be the last for the long-running Freeform show.

She has a reputation for being very hard-working. Before Mitchell got the PLL spotlight shown on her, she spent her days auditioning and her nights doing bottle service at a club. “I have so much respect for waiters, waitresses, girls who work in clubs. It’s tough,” she told Cosmopolitan. “I’d have old guys saying, ‘You’re so pretty, why are you working?’ or, ‘Come live with me, honey.’ Like, what, so I can be taken care of? That’s the last thing that I want. What I wanted to say was, ‘[I work] so I will never end up with someone like you.’”

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