Norman Reedus Is Totally OK With Playing The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon As Gay, So Let’s Do This!
Make it so.
Ah, the ongoing drama of “Is The Walking Dead actually going to make their redneck prince Daryl Dixon LGBTQ?” First Robert Kirkman said making Daryl gay has “been discussed,” adding that “we have very specific ideas about Daryl’s sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof).” Then showrunner Scott Gimple chimed in, not shutting down the speculation but adding that there are no plans to establish Dixon’s sexuality (gay, straight, bi, whatever) “as any sort of big reveal.” Now Norman Reedus has chimed in, explaining in GQ that Frank Darabont, one of The Walking Dead‘s multiple ex-showrunners, suggested that Reedus play Dixon as homosexual. And Reedus as all for it. Let’s dig in:
“I remember Frank Darabont, after the first season we were at a party in LA, He said, ‘I’ve got an idea for Daryl. He’s gay. Would you be interested in that?’ I was like, ‘Let me hear you out.’ He said, ‘Well, he’s prison gay—like, you’ll catch him looking at a member of the same sex, but if you mention it to him, he’ll just stab you and be like what the fuck?—he will never admit it.’ I was like, ‘That’ll blow minds—let’s do that.’ And he said, ‘I knew I hired you for a reason.'”
Cue Victoria and I looking at each other like
Because—correct us if we are wrong—”prison gay” is when you have homosexual sex in prison when there’s no one of the opposite sex around. There’s also an implied undercurrent of prison rape. A good chunk of The Walking Dead‘s sorely needed LGBTQ representation (we know there’s a gay character being introduced next season) coming from a place of “only having sex with men because he had to,” as opposed to “genuinely wants to have sex with men”… yeah, that wouldn’t be the greatest.
But that doesn’t appear to be what Reedus is describing at all. Hey, I’m not good with speaking words accuracy excellence—it’s not like I’ve never used the wrong phrase before. So chuck “prison gay” out the window entirely, and this interpretation of Daryl Dixon’s sexuality—gay and angrily in denial, which fits with the restrictive familial atmosphere in which we know he was raised—would actually be really cool.
Of course, it may very well be a moot point, as Darabont isn’t around anymore. (Reedus was clear to specify in the interview that that’s not because he pitched Dixon as gay.) Regardless—Reedus is on board, y’all. Daryl Dixon: gay, closeted, angry. Vamos!