You may have heard rumors swirling about whether actor Norman Reedus is gay. As a fan of The Walking Dead, you’re probably curious if one of the show’s biggest stars actually identifies as gay or straight IRL. Read on as we dig into the claims and get the scoop on Norman’s romantic relationships both on-screen and off.
Here’s a quick answer:
No, Norman Reedus identifies as straight. Though there was early discussion of his Walking Dead character Daryl being homosexual, Reedus says he’s “straight as an arrow” in real life. He was in a long-term relationship with model Helena Christensen, has two children, and is currently engaged to actress Diane Kruger, showing his relationships have only been with women.
The Gay Role That Never Happened
Back when The Walking Dead first started airing in 2010, there were initial discussions for Norman’s character Daryl Dixon to be gay. Norman revealed in an interview that the show’s former showrunner Frank Darabont considered making Daryl homosexual. Apparently it would have been a “prison gay” storyline between Daryl and another male character. Norman said he was totally down with the idea, but it never ended up happening on the show.
Maybe the writers didn’t want to tarnish the budding “bromance” between Daryl and Rick Grimes. Or perhaps they thought a gay relationship would distract from the zombie action. Either way, while Daryl hasn’t had many romantic relationships on The Walking Dead, the ones he did have were with women.
So Norman never got the chance to play a gay leading man on the record-breaking series. But if given the opportunity, he says he’d still be willing to take on an LGBTQ+ role. During a visit to Conan in 2016, Norman told host Conan O’Brien:
“If that’s the story they gave me, I would rock that story. I’m not afraid of it.”
He even joked the gay rumors started because another cast member was jealous they didn’t get to play the gay character!
While Norman seems completely comfortable playing a homosexual man on-screen, does this mean he also identifies as gay off-screen? Time to take a look at his romantic history IRL…
A Straight Star’s Relationship History
Norman may be willing to play gay characters, but in his personal life, he’s only been involved with women. Let’s review his relationship resume:
- Helena Christensen – From 1998-2003, Norman dated Danish model/actress Helena Christensen. They have a son named Mingus together, born in 1999. Clearly Norman was intimate with Helena, which may dispel gay rumors right off the bat.
- Emily Kinney – Norman’s The Walking Dead co-star Emily Kinney sparked dating speculation in 2014. They were spotted cozying up together and holding hands in Paris. Neither officially confirmed they were an item though.
- Cecilia Singley – In 2015 for a few months, Norman was linked to former Silicon Valley actress Cecilia Singley. Sources spotted them making out around L.A.
- Diane Kruger – Norman started dating German model/actress Diane Kruger in 2016 after meeting on a movie set. They had a daughter in 2018 and got engaged in 2021. Almost a decade strong, this is by far Norman’s most significant public relationship showing his heterosexuality.
While Norman keeps his personal life fairly private, his history involves relationships with a number of high-profile women in the entertainment industry. Not a man yet in sight!
By The Numbers: Norman Reedus’ Sexuality
To visually summarize Norman Reedus’ history with romantic partners:
|Type of Partner
|1 (Diane Kruger)
As you can see, Norman’s relationships paint the picture of a straight cisgender man.
There are always rumors about celebrities’ sexuality as fans love to speculate about their personal lives. But Norman himself has never stated he identified as anything other than straight. The evidence clearly stacks up that he’s into women!
What Norman Has Said
Norman has directly addressed the chatter about his sexuality before. And every time, he is consistent that he is heterosexual.
Back in 2012 when speculation was swirling, Norman told Rolling Stone:
“In real life, I’m straight as an arrow. People can write what they want, but I’m not.”
A few years later in 2016, Norman doubled down on this stance when the gay rumors popped up again. He told Vulture:
“It’s fun to play the badass on your motorcycle, but I have a lot of gay friends and I support gay marriage.”
While Norman leaves the door open to playing an LGBTQ+ character, he has asserted he is straight. Case closed!
Why Fans Speculate Norman Is Gay
What fuels constant fan speculation about celebrities’ sexuality anyway? People love to dig into stars’ private lives to feel like they really know them. Plus, Norman does have several traits that may trigger “gaydar” alarms for some fans:
- Rugged style – The shaggy hair and biker vest look reads more “edgy outsider” than clean-cut Hollywood hunk.
- No public girlfriend for years – Before he got serious with Diane Kruger, Norman tended to keep the relationship aspect of his life private.
- Support for gay friends & LGBTQ+ rights – Norman is outspoken about gay marriage and flies the rainbow flag. Allies sometimes get mistakenly labeled as gay.
*CLOSE relationship with Andrew Lincoln – Norman and his TWD co-star Andrew Lincoln have an incredibly tight friendship that people sometimes take out of context. But really it’s just “bromance”!
When you put together an actor’s looks, actions, and social life, it may appear they are hiding their sexuality. But with Norman, he has asserted he is straight despite any circumstantial evidence fans interpret.
At the end of the day, does it really matter either way? Norman Reedus is a talented actor bringing dynamic characters to life on-screen. His personal dating preferences don’t change the quality performances he gives in The Walking Dead, The Boondock Saints, and beyond.
Norman himself doesn’t seem to care whether people think he’s gay. He told Vulture “Let people talk. It’s fun. Why not? Let ‘em!” So perhaps we should all take a cue from Norman and not get so hung up on labeling sexuality.
The only person who truly knows their orientation is the individual themselves. Norman Reedus identifies as straight, and that’s perfectly valid whether he acts stereotypically “gay” or not. Actions don’t define identity – people determine for themselves how they wish to identify.
Is Norman Reedus really gay?
No, Norman Reedus has identified himself as straight in multiple interviews over the years. He has been in relationships with women like Helena Christensen and Diane Kruger, and has two children. He says he is open to playing gay characters, but in real life he states he is “straight as an arrow.”
Who was Norman’s gay lover on The Walking Dead?
Norman Reedus has never actually played a gay lover on The Walking Dead. Early on, there was discussion for his character Daryl to be homosexual, but that storyline never ended up happening. All of Daryl Dixon’s relationships on the show have been with female characters.
What women has Norman Reedus dated?
Some of the more high-profile women Norman has dated include supermodel Helena Christensen, actress Emily Kinney, Cecilia Singley, and his current fiancée Diane Kruger. None of his confirmed past relationships have been with men.
Why do people think Norman Reedus is gay?
Rumors likely stem from his rugged style, private personal life, support for LGBTQ+ rights being mistaken as a hidden sign of homosexuality, and his incredibly close friendship with co-star Andrew Lincoln. Fans often speculate about celebrities’ sexuality, but Norman has shut down gay rumors about himself multiple times.
Does Norman Reedus support gay rights?
Yes, Norman has voiced consistent support for gay marriage and said he has many friends who are gay. So while he identifies as straight, he is an outspoken ally to the LGBTQ+ community. His advocacy may contribute to some fans falsely assuming he is gay.