During a panel in Los Angeles, actor Tommy Martinez reveled he had an experience with a man.
On Monday, at a panel for Freeform’s The Fosters spinoff Good Trouble, actor Tommy Martinez, 26, opened up about his sexuality.
After a screening of the upcoming series, Martinez and costars Sherry Cola and Zuri Adele took the stage with the show’s executive producers Peter Paige, Joanna Johnson, and Bradley Bredeweg. During the panel, Martinez discussed similarities between himself and his character, Gael.
“With his sexuality, in the places I grew up in, it was something that was never talked about, nor was it ever challenged,” Martinez said. “I know plenty of people from my high school that are gay but still not out to this day.”
The actor then discussed his past:
“I had an experience with a man maybe ten years ago, and this is the first time that I’m saying that publicly. 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 it, but same with many other people in the world and here in America.”
He continued, “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].”
“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.”
According to The Advocate, “the room erupted in applause of support when Martinez finished his story.”