Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why has started a lot of discussions about teen suicide and rape, but it also addresses sexuality, which has left a lot fans wondering whether the character Tony is gay.
Spoiler Alert! (If you haven’t finished watching the show, we suggest you stop reading now.)
Tony (played by Christian Navarro) does reveal to Clay (Dylan Minnette) in a later episode that he is, in fact, gay — which comes as a surprise to Clay and no one else. Although he never outwardly talks about his sexuality before that moment, he’s often seen hanging with a boy named Brad (Henry Zaga), who he introduces as his “friend,” though they’re clearly more than that.
For a long time, Clay thinks that Tony was in love with Hannah (Katherine Langford) before she killed herself, since he’s so obsessed with making sure her tapes get heard. But it turns out that Tony is the one who lent her the recorder used to make the cassettes, and she felt she could trust him with her secret.
Tony isn’t the only character who’s revealed to be gay during the series. Courtney (Michele Selene Ang) is outed in Hannah’s tapes after they are caught kissing by Tyler (Devin Druid). Courtney ends up throwing Hannah under the bus when a photo of their encounter is leaked around school out of fear that her classmates will discover the truth. In an ironic twist, Courtney has been raised by two gay dads.
Overall, the response to 13 Reasons Why has been mixed due to its dark subject matter. Dan Reidenberg, the executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, told The Huffington Post, “I have watched the show and was horrified at the graphic, sensational ways in which they depicted Hannah’s life. Viewers can understand someone who dies, even by suicide, without having to be so graphic.”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.