‘Walking Dead’s’ Jesus Confirmed As Gay, Series Makes History By Making Him A Hero On The Show

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Ever since handsome British actor Tom Payne made his The Walking Dead debut a year ago as fan-favorite Jesus, speculation has brewed over how much of his persona from the comic books would be retained – and specifically, whether his sexuality would remain the same. Payne said last year, that he saw no reason why his on-screen Jesus wouldn’t be gay, as he is in the comics, and in tonight’s episode “The Other Side,” he officially became the show’s third major gay character.  But this time, the role is one that will be focused more on the fact that he’s a hero in the story, not a supporting character.

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Between the fact that Jesus is an elusive and taciturn guy to begin with, and the fact that these characters are living in fear of a fascist dictator during a zombie apocalypse, it’s no surprise that it took a while for the subject to come up. But Jesus knows who he is – he’s one of the more self-possessed characters in the cast – and there is no dramatic “coming out” moment here, during a moment of bonding between Jesus and Maggie.

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During the same conversation, we learn Jesus grew up in a group home, and has never felt like he belonged anywhere until now. He’s always had a hard time getting close to anyone, he says, “neighbors, friends, boyfriends…” Maggie tells him he should try it sometime. Jesus/Daryl shippers, start your engines. (I’m semi-kidding, but they do share a scene together later in the episode and i could almost hear the GIFs being made in light of this new revelation.)

The Walking Dead has gone from having zero LGBT representation in its early years to a fairly strong track record in recent seasons, with Aaron (Ross Marquand) and his boyfriend Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) sharing a kiss that set off a few bigots, but Kirkman is fearless as a producer and show creator. Aaron and Eric are still around, but the show’s major lesbian character Tara (Alanna Masterson) wasn’t so lucky. Her girlfriend Denise (Merritt Wever) was controversially killed off.

The run to the finale begins this Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC, and for more Walking Dead scoop, follow “The Walking Dead AfterWord” on Facebook for all breaking news. 

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Gene Page/AMC
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