When Tom Payne first made his debut on The Walking Dead as fan-favorite Jesus last year, fans were anxious to see how much of his character would be retained by the show, particularly when it came to his sexuality. In the comic books created by Robert Kirkman, Jesus is written as gay and although The Walking Dead addressed his sexuality in season 7, many fans were curious if that would be addressed again this year.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Walking Dead is finally adding some diversity to its predominantly White cast with the addition of a gay couple. During the episode "The Distance," viewers met Aaron (Ross Marquand) and his partner, Eric, who are recruiters for the Alexandria Safe-Zone community. The pair are sent out to scout groups of survivors in hopes of welcoming them into the gated community.
Although they were initially mistrusted by the group led by Rick Grimes, Aaron and his partner quickly earn the group's trust. With their help, the survivors are able to find supplies and safety within the walls of Alexandria.
The addition of Aaron and Eric marks the introduction of the first openly gay character on the series since Tara, played by Alanna Masterson, was introduced in season four. And while the inclusion of the two men has been a welcome addition to The Walking Dead, there is hope that this will be just the beginning as the show continues to introduce characters from all walks of life.