Warning: This article contains Walking Dead Season 7 spoilers.
The Walking Dead has featured a few diverse couples on its show, including the interracial pairing of Rick and Michonne and LGBT representation in the form of same-sex couples Aaron and Eric and Tara and Denise. In tonight's new episode, entitled "The Other Side," another character will come out as gay.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jesus (Tom Payne) will tell Maggie (Lauren Cohen) he is gay during an emotional chat in the episode. It will reportedly be a low-key revelation, with Jesus simply saying that he's had boyfriends in the past and Maggie smiling in acknowledgement.
The reveal may catch some Walking Dead Season 7 viewers by surprise, because Jesus has always been single in the series and never expressed a romantic interest in any other character. However, the plot development falls into line with the Walking Dead comic book series, created by Robert Kirkman, in which Jesus has a boyfriend named Alex.
Kirkman has spoken out for including LGBT characters in his comics, wanting them to be an organic part of his storylines.
"In my opinion there should be more awesome gay people in fiction because there are plenty of awesome gay people in real life. I want Jesus to be a character where his sexuality is as unimportant as Rick or other heterosexual characters."Last fall, Tom Payne told the Huffington Post that he was all for Jesus coming out in the TV series.
"I think that would be amazing."The actor also relayed the comments of Kirkman to Jesus' sexuality, saying the writer simply said, "Yeah, who cares? He's a bada** and he happens to be gay."
"I think that's one of the strongest things about Robert [Kirkman] and how he writes the comic books. Why wouldn't he be? And I see no reason why that would be different in the show."At one point, the showrunners for The Walking Dead explored the possibility of Daryl being gay, but the storyline never materialized. However, Norman Reedus also indicated he would have been cool with that storyline if Daryl's character arc had gone that direction.
"There was a time on the show where Frank was going to have me be gay, but he won't admit it. If that's the story they gave me, I would rock that story. I'm not afraid."As for Kirkman, he told Entertainment Weekly that he always considered Daryl to be somewhat asexual.
"We play Daryl Dixon as being somewhat asexual on the show. He's a very introverted character and I think that's some of his appeal," Kirkman said. "I do have to clear something up, though: in the letter column of the comic book that I do, I mentioned that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon's character gay.
"It caused quite a hubbub online and I just wanted to clarify that the possibility is there and that I would have been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it, but we ultimately didn't do that," Kirkman said. "I can make it official: Daryl Dixon is straight."
While Daryl is straight, his continuing relationship with Carol -- a tender, slow burn between two survivors of abuse -- has created major fan interest.
What do you think about Jesus coming out as gay on The Walking Dead? Do you wish the showrunners had gone ahead with Daryl's gay storyline? What have you thought of the Season 7 so far? Let us know in the comments below.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
[Featured Image via AMC]