Jonathan Bailey Reveals The Sad Reason He Didn't Open Up About His Sexuality

As a star of "Bridgerton," the most-viewed show ever on Netflix, according to NBC, Jonathan Bailey is a prominent actor on the small screen who has gained a strong fanbase and platform as his fame has grown. He's used this platform to be authentically himself, as he did when he spoke to Sir Ian McKellen for Attitude in 2020. During their chat, Bailey opened up about being gay and explained that, although he is okay to address his sexuality, he'd rather people focus on his craft as an actor at the end of the day rather than other personal matters.

"Why is there this common assumption that because we've decided to gift people with the knowledge that we're gay, it means that we're actually then prepared to basically squat over a mirror and show them our inner workings?" Bailey said before adding, "There are lots of things about my life that are personal, and I don't want to cross that line. But visibility is key." Although he is now very open about the fact that he is gay, Bailey was sadly once discouraged from revealing this truth to the world.

Jonathan Bailey says homophobia 'ripples through' Hollywood

While Jonathan Bailey is now comfortable being openly gay in Hollywood, he previously was told to remain quiet about this fact. He recently spoke to GQ Magazine about the impact of having heard a friend of his received a homophobic remark from a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.

"At the time, [my friend] was told, 'There's two things we don't want to know: if you're an alcoholic or if you're gay.'" Bailey said. He then explained that a comment like this one "ripples through," which briefly stuck with him. Although he initially kept his sexuality private, Bailey eventually found the courage to go public with it, and told the magazine that he'd "much prefer to hold [his] boyfriend's hand in public or be able to put [his] own face picture on Tinder ... than get a part."

Dissimilar to the words Bailey's friend heard about being openly gay in the industry, Bailey candidly stating his sexuality hasn't derailed his career. "Bridgerton" has secured a highly-anticipated second season, with Bailey's character, Anthony Bridgerton, being a focus of the series as he looks for a wife, per Entertainment Weekly. In his on-screen pursuits of love, Bailey drew a salient parallel, stating, "The push and pull [illustrates] how intense it is to fall in love in a society that is so rigid, where the gender roles are so specific, and how much those roles can be completely counterproductive to happiness, progression, and to love."