In 2020, the same year that “Bridgerton” premiered on Netflix, actor Jonathan Bailey decided that it was time to let the world in on a secret that he had been keeping for years. He came out as gay. For years, Bailey felt that he had to hide his sexuality in order to secure roles as an actor. When he was younger, he overheard an actor friend receiving some advice that stuck with him. “At the time he was told, ‘There’s two things we don’t want to know: if you’re an alcoholic or if you’re gay,'” the actor recalled in an interview with GQ. “All it takes is for one of those people in that position of power to say that, and it ripples through. So, yeah, of course I thought that. Of course I thought that in order to be happy I needed to be straight,” he continued. Two years ago, he’d had enough of the secrecy.
“I reached a point where I thought, ‘F**k 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 get a part’,” Bailey said of his coming out experience in Queerty. As a teen and a college student, Bailey kept his sexuality hidden from his small-town peers. These days, he’s much more proud of who he is.