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Actor and singer Jussie Smollett is one of the breakout stars of Fox’s hit drama Empire, and while much of the buzz surrounding him has focused on his talents, there’s also been plenty said about his sexuality.

On the show, he plays Jamal Lyon, a gay singer and the middle son of Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) battling his father’s homophobia.

In real life, Smollett’s sexuality has been a topic of conversation, and now he’s setting the record straight.

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres conducted backstage at Ellen, he confirmed that he is gay and explained why he’s never felt the need to discuss his personal life.

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