Tyler Posey has been accused of gay-baiting before, but now the actor is officially out as bisexual—on The CW dramedy Jane the Virgin, that is.
The former Teen Wolf star plays Adam, a comic-book artist in his late 20s who is currently wooing Jane. The two were once engaged, but he called it off after being pressured by Jane’s mom. They reconnect years later and while talking to Lina’s fiancé, Danny, in the November 10 episode, Adam shared that he dated guys while living in New York.
As GLAAD’s latest Where Are We Now report underscores, bisexual representation is rare on TV—bisexual men, exceedingly so. What’s interesting with Jane the Virgin is that the titular character neither rejects Adam out of hand over his sexuality, nor shrugs and acts like its no big deal for her.
Danny: Wait. Yeah, you two used to date, right?
Adam: Yeah. Ooh.
Jane: Oh, she’s really pretty.
Adam: Not her. Him.
Jane: Oh. Cool. He’s also very pretty. So, you’re bisexual?
Adam: If you’re into labels.
Jane: You date men and women?
Adam: I had a boyfriend in art school when everyone was experimenting, and another in Fort Greene when everyone wasn’t.
Jane: Cool. It’s just, we’ve had so many long talks. How come you never mentioned this?
Adam: It just didn’t really feel that relevant.
Adam: And I guess I was nervous. It’s become an issue with people I’ve dated before.
Jane: Well, you’ve never dated me before. Okay, you have. Not recently. My point is, is… I’m totally okay with it. You have exes, I have exes. Everybody has exes.
But Jane confesses to her mom, Xiomara, that she’s “completely hung up” on Adam’s bisexuality. But she’s aware enough to know its a double standard. “When women hook up, it’s looked at as sexy,” she says, “but men are immediately marginalized because our whole culture revolves around the male gaze.”
Finally the two lovebirds have a heart-to-heart, where she voices a lot of the things people (gay and straight) think about bisexuals.
Jane: Well, I guess I feel a little insecure, you know. It’s not like I can give you what a man can.
Adam: Well, yeah, you’re right, you can’t. But you can’t give me what other women can give me, either. But it doesn’t matter, because I choose to be with you. I don’t want to be with anyone else, regardless of gender.
Adam: Yeah, really. We’re in a monogamous relationship. Which means that you’re not allowed to kiss anyone else.
Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez says there were a lot of discussions about the character of Adam before his coming-out episode: “We were introducing a character who comes with a lot of history, a lot of weight for Jane, and a lot of narrative propulsive energy for us,” she tells Variety. “I feel like you see a lot of bisexual women on TV because men think it’s sexy when women make out… we hadn’t had a romantic hero who’s also bisexual.”
Rodriguez says she was also interested in exploring Jane’s perception of herself as a progressive. “But then she has to unpack a lot of stuff. Some of it is residual [because] she grew up in a very religious house and has certain ideas in her head that are based in telenovelas and based on romance writing. And she had to struggle with her own discomfort and get over it. It was more about Jane realizing that even though on paper she should be totally fine, there’s no issue, she had to accept the fact that things did not go down as smoothly as she wished it did.”
While it’s not clear if any of Adam’s exes (male or female) will be appearing on the show, Rodriguez says Posey’s character has “his own arc with a beginning, middle, and end.”
Posey has been an ally to the LGBT community for most of his career, congratulating Charlie Carver on his coming out and appearing with trans service members at the 2017 VMAs. But he irked some fans in 2016 when he jokingly “came out” on in a Snapchat taken on New York’s Gay Street. (Two years prior he claimed he had his own Grindr profile.)
“I am truly sorry to the people I’ve offended or lessened how big coming out is,” he later apologized. “I just want to spread love in htis work. Although I’m not gay, I fully support the LGBTQ community.”