Actor Jonathan Bailey Thought He Should ‘Suppress’ His Gayness Earlier in His Career

The Bridgerton star shares with GQ Magazine how effected he was by a homophobic advise an actor-friend of his was given during pilot season.

Jonathan Bailey shared a ‘Hollywood advice’ a friend of his received about being gay: “There’s two things we don’t want to know: if you’re an alcoholic or if you’re gay.” 

“All it takes is for one of those people in that position of power to say that, and it ripples through,” Bailey told GQ Magazine. “So, yeah, of course I thought that. Of course I thought that in order to be happy I needed to be straight.”

The words, he said, haunted him for years. After joking that he finds it “cringe” to be considered a sex symbol (“Any actor who thinks they’re a sex symbol?”), Bailey said he grappled to reconcile his acting career with his personal life, having already come out to friends and family in his 20s.

“I reached a point where I thought, Fuck this, I’d much prefer to hold my boyfriend’s hand in public or be able to put my own face picture on Tinder and not be so concerned about that than getting a part.”

In December 2020, Jonathan Bailey was saying similar stuff about coming out as gay in the entertainment industry to Attitude magazine.

“The most conservative conversations I’ve had about me being honest about my sexuality in this day and age have come from gay men in the industry, ‘Oh, no, you can’t come out. You shouldn’t really do that,” He told Sir Ian McKellen.

“They’re either people who work in publicity,” he continued, “or there’s also been casting directors who have put the call into my agent to say, ‘Just so that you know, the way that this is going to be sold is that it’s a gay story written by gay writers for gay actors. So by just taking the role…’”