Jordan Gavaris — the 27-year-old Canadian actor who plays Felix Dawkins, the gay sidekick on on the BBC America sci-fi drama Orphan Black — recently came out as gay in an interview with vulture.com.
Gavaris started acting in Season 1 of Orphan Black when he was 22-years-old. His character is the ever-loyal adoptive brother of Sarah, a clone who is one of the show’s main characters.
Felix provides comic relief and serves as the show’s moral compass: Even though he’s a campy, drug-dealing, sex-worker, he cleans up Sarah’s messes, works as a go-between for Sarah and her clones and calls Sarah out for being selfish and manipulative. While his character is flamboyantly gay, his comedy arises from his direct no-nonsense sensibility rather than his queerness.
Here’s a fan-made video of some of Felix’s antics from Orphan Black:
In his coming out interview, Gavaris initially says that no other interviewer had ever asked him if he was gay, but later clarifies that a radio interviewer had asked him once during Season 2, but that he refused to talk about it because “he just wanted a sound bite.” (Gavaris says he later regretted not taking the opportunity to come out, but adds, “It wasn’t the right time…. I’m sure on a deeper level I was just scared.”)
Gavaris says he was nervous coming out to his parents at age 19, not out of fear of rejection, but rather the awkwardness of admitting his being sexually active. He also says that the Orphan Black‘s cast and crew have always supported him and his gay identity.
“I hope that one day, the world gets to a place where you don’t need to politicize your sexuality any more than someone needs to politicize their race — that we can just act and we can exist in this Zeitgeist, telling stories about one another. And that no one’s afraid, maybe, to come out. But also that no one’s really hyperobsessed with knowing whether or not someone’s gay. That would be an amazing world to live in, where people don’t feel the need to protect themselves and other people don’t feel the need to launch an inquisition.”
Here is a video of Gavaris discussing fan reactions to Felix’s character:
Gavaris also mentioned that playing Felix helped him explore his femininity, something he had never really done before. He now considers the femininity of his other acting roles and says that he would like writers and audiences to start honoring and creating other strong and complex feminine characters.
Gavaris also said that he appreciates shows that have complex LGBTQ characters whose stories go beyond their sexuality and coming out, even though he appreciates and recognizes the importance of those stories.