Praise Jesus Hallelujah—The Walking Dead’s good-natured rebel Jesus has officially come out!
When Tom Payne made his debut on The Walking Dead last season as Jesus, fans wondered if the character would be gay like he is in the original comic book series. After dodging the question for a year, the show finally confirmed his sexuality in last night’s episode “The Other Side.”
The moment occurred in a conversation between the elusive hero and Maggie. During their talk, Jesus revealed that he grew up in a group home and has always had problems feeling like he belong anywhere. He went on to say that it’s been difficult for him to get close to anyone, including “neighbors, friends, boyfriends,” with Maggie telling him he should try it some time.
The Walking Dead now has three gay characters in its main cast, a significant number for an action-led series with a large fan base of both liberal and conservative viewers. Though some bigoted fans went ballistic when gay couple Aaron and boyfriend Eric shared a steamy smooch on the show’s fifth season, that Jesus is a fan-favorite and a prominent figure in the universe will hopefully allow producers to explore his sexuality.
“In my opinion there should be more awesome gay people in fiction because there are plenty of awesome gay people in real life,” Robert Kirkman, who created The Walking Dead comics, said last year.
“I want Jesus to be a character where his sexuality is as unimportant as Rick or other heterosexual characters. So we won’t focus on it constantly and it won’t be the focus of any big storylines for him… but he’ll make it with a dude every now and then… before going out and drop kicking zombies.”
h/t: Harper’s Bazaar