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Josh Banday of 'Not Dead Yet' on Self-Discovery and Working With Gina Rodriguez

Josh Banday

The actor tells Advocate Now about his identity journey as a bisexual person who is also Mexican, Filipino, and Black.

The journey of self-discovery is unique for everyone, as actor Josh Banday demonstrates.

Banday stars alongside Gina Rodriguez in ABC's newest sitcom, Not Dead Yet. Working with Rodriguez has been an "exciting" experience, and Banday says he couldn't be more grateful to have her in his corner.

"Every set needs a Gina Rodriguez, because she absolutely changed the culture of the set that I was working on," he tells Sonia Baghdady of Advocate Now, adding, "It was the only set that felt like everybody knew about each other's families and cared about you getting home at a decent time to read to your kids, and cared about what was going on in your life."

Banday says he was also drawn to the role because he was "able to play a bisexual character." As a bisexual person who is also Mexican, Filipino, and Black, Banday's journey of self-discovery was "really difficult," as he says that he "had a lot of people telling me who I was."

"It was important to me because when I was growing up, there was no word for bisexual. Like I literally had no idea that there was such a term," Banday explains, adding, "If I had had someone on screen that was able to say this is who you are, this is normal and this is what it looks like when you're older. It would have changed a lot for me. And to be able to give that to someone is an honor."

Though he feels secure in his identity now, Banday shares that he still worried about coming out to his family members, particularly his children. He wasn't sure how his nine-year-old daughter would respond when she first learned about bisexuality and her father's orientation, but Banday says her reaction opened his heart.

"She asked me one day after I'd accepted the role, and she was like, 'Hey, who did you date before Mommy?' ... I was like, 'I dated this girl, and this girl, and daddy got to this point and he dated a young man in college,'" he shares, continuing, "I kind of paused and I waited for questions that would inevitably come. Instead she was just like, 'Okay, who's next?' And moved on. It just wasn't a thing to her at all."

Banday adds: "It broke my heart wide open and [made it] so much easier to to approach this role."

New episodes of Not Dead Yet air every Wednesday on ABC. For more interviews like these, watch Advocate Now on The Advocate Channel.

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