During a recent panel discussion about Freeform’s new series Good Trouble (the spin-off of The Fosters) at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Riverdale actor Tommy Martinez says he “saw himself completely” in his new role as bisexual artist Gael and revealed that he had an “experience” with a man nearly a decade ago.
The 26-year-old, who is currently dating Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actress Adeline Rudolph, felt like he couldn’t reveal his secret to anyone at the time.
“I had an experience with a man maybe 10 years ago, and this is the first time that I’m saying that publicly,” Martinez said, reports The Advocate.
“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,” he added. “It’s not only just them, but they are very religious and strict on what they believe [as] 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 experience],” he continued. “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.”
The Advocate notes that Martinez grew emotional while sharing his story, which was met with thunderous applause from the audience.