Nick Jonas Talks Exclusively Playing Gay Roles: It’s About “Breaking Down Barriers”

The former JoBro said he doesn't choose roles based on sexuality.

Nick Jonas was first accused of gay-baiting fans when he removed his shirt at the New York City gay bar where he kicked off his debut album promotion last September.

The 23-year-old former JoBro has been delighting gay fans with semi-homoerotic promotion throughout the past year and it’s clear he’s probably pandering a little more to the gay crowd than he is to the straight. Needless to say, accusations of his gay-baiting ramped up after Nick debuted his second TV acting role as a gay man on Scream Queens last week.

Related: Nick Jonas Debuts Second Gay Role On Scream Queens, Is “Honored” To Represent LGBTs

Nick has rightfully avoided the faux controversy but opened up a bit about his motivation behind playing gay characters in an interview with USA Today.

Choosing roles is “not based on whether the character is gay or straight, but about what the story is and what the audience is going to get out of it,” he said. “In the case of Scream Queens, there’s comedy within the role and I think at its core it really is a social commentary about stereotypes and breaking down some of those barriers. Ryan Murphy obviously does that so well.”

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Nick continued, commenting on his Kingdom character Nate Kulina, a closeted MMA fighter grappling with accepting his sexuality:

With Kingdom, my character is going through a really different journey where he’s struggling with who he is. I think that’s a highly relatable story line that a lot of my fans, both gay and straight, have come and told me that that’s been incredibly important for them: to see the journey he’s on and to know they’re not alone, whatever it is that they’re going through in their life that makes them feel different or strange. There’s real peace and a community and a story being told that feels honest and grounded.

Bait or no bait, Nick has been using his platform to promote LGBT rights.

In March, ahead of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on marriage equality, Nick posed for the cover of French gay magazine Têtu and said, “Everyone should have the right to love and marry whomever he wants. And the more there are straight artists who defend these ideas, the more they will be admitted.”

So why, again, do people think Nick’s affinity for gay culture is a bad thing?

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett