Nick Jonas is no stranger to the LGBT community. For years, he’s been labeled a cock tease by gay guys — young and old. But in a new interview with OUT, he sets the record straight on God, gay fans and his upcoming projects.
Raised in a Christian home, Jonas’ father was a pastor with the Assembly of God church and his mother a sign language teacher. When he landed a role on Broadway, members of his father’s congregation were opposed at first. But show business quickly proved to be a family affair.
“God is very real to me,” says Jonas, who’s no longer religious but still has a strong relationship with faith. His parents have since left the church as well, which is a change from the days of being labeled Christian music stars. The Jonas brothers even wore purity rings, which they promoted to their fans as signs they’d taken a vow not to have sex before marriage. Although, Nick admits he had sex for the first time when he was 20 years old.
Shortly after the Jonas Brothers broke up in 2013, Jonas changed his squeaky clean image by making appearances at gay nightclubs in NYC; performing stripteases and unbuttoning his shirt in front of a multitude of sweaty/horny guys.
However, the accusations that he’s a cock tease left him a bit wounded: “It’s not the majority, but a large handful [of gay people] have a negative opinion for whatever reason … and I think it’s really quite sad.”
Despite the critics, Jonas has proved to be an amazing actor, taking on memorable gay roles in the last few seasons of television, including Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens, in which he plays a closeted frat boy.
On Kingdom, Jonas plays a young man grappling with masculinity and a conservative family. In the show’s first season finale, Jonas had sex with a man in an alley behind a gay bar. To prepare, he spoke to some of his closest friends who were raised in conservative families about their coming out experiences.
“It was a good way to research,” he said, “to kind of build the character with some elements of real life … it’s been a great character to play, one that I try to be respectful of and take myself out of. He’s on his own path.”
His next big role is in the upcoming James Franco (surprise, surprise) produced indie pic Goat, a coming-of-age film in which he plays a member of a fraternity whose hazing rituals become increasingly violent.
After attending a private listening party for Jonas’ new album, Last Year Was Complicated, Carmen Carrera, transgender model and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum, told OUT “I think he’s [Jonas] very humble and an amazing ally.” She added, “We need more people like him in the music industry — someone who’s willing to come out and say that he supports the entire LGBT community and embraces fans from all walks of life. And maybe he might have a trans love interest in one of his music videos. Let’s open up that conversation!”