Good Trouble's Tommy Martinez opens up about same-sex experience
10 January 2019, 17:23 | Updated: 10 January 2019, 17:26
Tommy's bisexual character Gael inspired him to speak up...
Tommy Martinez is quickly establishing himself as a bit of a teen icon. The 26-year-old star first stole our hearts with cameos in shows like Shameless and NCIS: Los Angeles. He then got his big break as Ghoulies leader Malachai on Riverdale. He is just getting started though. Following his popular stint on Riverdale, Tommy has just landed himself a lead role as Gael on Good Trouble.
Good Trouble, for those of you who don't know, is a new spin-off of The Fosters and it is already receiving huge praise for its LGBTQ+ representation. Two of its main characters are queer: Alice (the manager of Mariana and Callie's new apartment) is lesbian and Gael (a graphic designer who hooks up with Callie) is bisexual. And now Tommy has opened up about his own sexuality.
Speaking in a panel for Good Trouble with The Advocate, Tommy talked about why the character of Gael resonated with him. “With his sexuality, in the places I grew up in, it was something that was never talked about, nor was it ever challenged. I know plenty of people from my high school that are gay but are still not out to this day and I know a buddy here in LA who still isn't out."
He then revealed that he's had his own same sex experiences: "I had an experience with a man maybe 10 years ago, and this is the first time that I’m saying that publicly."
Discussing it more, he said: "And throughout that whole time, I felt like I was put into the shadows, because the way that my community was. The way that they spoke about [LGBTQ+ people], [the] Hispanic community, it’s not only just them, but they are very religious and strict on what they believe in, but same with many other people in the world and here in America. The way that they talked about homosexuality or even just experiencing something like that, with slurs or what have you, my friend said the same thing, so I had nobody to talk to about [my own experience]."
He then ended his speech by saying that playing Gael has given him the confidence to open up: "And I kept that inside the whole time until now. And to have this opportunity to portray this character and this community, I felt, especially in front of you wonderful people, I felt maybe this is the best place to express that. And so I saw myself completely in Gael’s shoes. And so when I got that audition notice and dove deeper into the character, I just felt right with it.”
What a man. There is still enormous stigma surrounding men who aren't gay who have had same sex experiences and it's great to see a star like Tommy be so candid about his sexuality. Tommy is currently dating Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actress Adeline Rudolph and they are literally the most adorable couple ever. We cannot wait to see what he does next.