During a conversation with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Jesus (Tom Payne) opens up just a tiny bit about his life pre-apocalypse, discussing his struggle to stay in one place... and "hang on to boyfriends."
It was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of moment, but for Payne and TWD boss Robert Kirkman, it couldn't have been more important.
"I love how that was handled in the script and in the episode. I knew that it was never going to be a huge deal," Payne told ET's Leanne Aguilera ahead of the show's panel at PaleyFest on Friday. "Listen, it's the end of the world. Do you really think we're going to be worried about things like that?"
"I'm really happy about it, actually," he continued. "I knew before we filmed it, because he is [gay] in the comic books, and I didn't see any reason why he wouldn't be in the show, and I talked to Robert Kirkman about it, and he's like, 'Yeah, of course, it's the same guy.' So it's really cool to be representing that community in such an awesome, action, kick-ass role. I'm excited."
Kirkman echoed Payne's enthusiasm over the big (or understated) reveal, confessing that he feels "obligated" to represent "all different types of people."
"I mean, it couldn't be more important. I think representation in all forms of all media of all different types of people is something that as creative people, we should always strive to do," he told ET. "And you know, I think that's something that as a creative person, it's something that you're absolutely, 100 percent obligated to do."
"It's something that is very important to us, and we're very happy that we're able to have this really awesome gay character on the show that people can look up to, that people can aspire to, that does really great things," he added.
"And also, the storylines aren't about him being gay. You're not being beaten over the head by it, it's not the focus," Kirkman said. "His character is so much more than his sexuality, just like people are in real life."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.