“Orphan Black” star Jordan Gavaris came out of the closet as gay in an interview published on Vulture on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old star, who plays the “exuberantly gay” Felix Dawkins on the hit show, seemed a bit surprised to be questioned about his sexual orientation. “Nobody ever asks me,” he said after revealing he identifies as gay. “I’ve never been asked. Like, the whole course of the series.”
Gavaris, who said he came out to his family at 19, told the publication he ultimately believes that his sexuality shouldn’t matter. “I hope that one day, the world gets to a place where you don’t need to politicize your sexuality any more than someone needs to politicize their race — that we can just act and we can exist in this Zeitgeist, telling stories about one another... And that no one’s afraid, maybe, to come out,” he said.
Gavaris also shared how he feels about being openly gay in Hollywood and the effect coming out could have on his career.
“This is a tricky thing to say and I’ve never actually said it out loud before, but I do believe that jobs will be lost and I do believe jobs will be gained,” he said, adding, “Maybe not even for the right reasons.”
“Orphan Black” has regularly been heralded for its portrayal of rich LGBTQ characters and its stars have never shied away from talking about ― and supporting ― queerness in whatever forms it might take on the show.
“The reaction to Felix was brilliant,” Gavaris told an audience at a Comic Con panel in 2013 (see the video below). “I did receive a couple of little things from the straight community where they felt he was a bit of an ugly stereotype… a cliche, over the top, blah blah blah, and my response to that is this: you cannot collectively as a society decide that you are only going to represent one part of a minority.” He added, “I don’t know when in society and film that it became ok to only represent gay people in like the traditional sense where they have a great job and well-adjusted parents and maybe a surrogate or adopted child — when was [it decided that was] the only way you could represent gay people?”
Tatiana Maslany, the show’s lead who plays almost a dozen different characters on the show, has also been outspoken in her views on sexuality.
“I’m honored in any way to speak to that community and to be playing a role,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2014. “We sort of embrace the idea of every human having the potential to be anything, and I think that opens the door for all kinds of dialogue about sexuality and about gender. And it’s exciting material that is not always on screen in a respectful way... and I don’t mean respectful in the sense of martyrdom, I mean respectful in the sense of flawed, complex performance and characters.”
Speaking to GLAAD in 2015, Maslany got emotional talking about her love for the LGBTQ community and her show’s place in it.
“[The characters are] not sexualized [for the male gaze], but they are sexual with each other and they’re intimate,” she said. “Whether Delphine identifies as bisexual or however she identifies herself, she’s open to loving Cosima and there’s no question. It’s about the love between them; it’s not about the fact that they are two women.”
Watch the season 5 premiere of “Orphan Black” here.