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Nick Jonas spoke to his gay friends about their experiences ahead of ‘Kingdom’ role

By Will Stroude

Fresh from cancelling planned tour dates in North Carolina in protest at the state’s recently introduced anti-LGBT ordinance, Nick Jonas is once again engaging with his gay fanbase in a new cover profile for OUT magazine.

The 23-year-old speaks to the publication about his new music and follow-up to last year’s eponymous album, as well as his highly-publicised gay roles on US television, including frat boy Boone Clemens in Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens and as closeted fighter Nate Kulina in US martial arts drama Kingdom.

Nate’s sexuality has been slowly teased over the course of the show’s run as he struggles to reconcile his sexuality with the machismo of his family life, and Jonas has now revealed that he spoke to some of his gay friends about how they themselves came out to conservative household.

OUT writes:

Nate, his character on Kingdom, is a man grappling with masculinity and a conservative family. In the finale of the first season, Nate has sex with a man in an alley behind a gay bar. Jonas’s performance on the show was surprising—absorbing and complex.

“It’s been a great character to play,” says Jonas, “one that I try to be respectful of and take myself out of. He’s on his own path.”

To prepare for the part, he spoke to some of his closest friends, some of whom were raised in conservative families, about their coming-out experiences. “It was a good way to research,” says Jonas, “to kind of build the character with some elements of real life.”

While the Jealous singer’s commitment to LGBT causes seems assured – as was demonstrated with his recent action over North Carolina – he’s been unable to shake off accusations that he’s guilty of using his looks of ‘gay-bait’ the LGBT community.

Having previously denied the accusations that his support of this LGBT fans is cynically-motivated, he says that the persistent criticism makes him “sad”.

However, that same reviewer, echoing the sentiments of many, accused Jonas of taking “a page out of the James Franco playbook, courting the LGBT community, aggressively working both the gay press and New York City’s club circuit.”

The accusations of gay baiting and opportunism have left Jonas a bit wounded. “It’s not the majority, but a large handful have a negative opinion for whatever reason,” he says, “and I think it’s really quite sad.”

You can read OUT’s full cover profile with Jonas here.


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