In Alan Cumming's New Show His Sexuality Is Irrelevant, Making It Super Relevant

Instinct sees the actor playing a deeply complex character... and also he's gay.

In Alan Cumming's new series Instinct his character is a man of many skills. Former CIA operative Dylan Reinhardt is now a college professor, a published author and, oh yeah, he's gay.

It might seem like no big deal, both in how the character's sexuality is treated in the show and also in the context of how many LGBTQ-centric characters are popping up on TV but it's actually a big deal.

Cumming's character has been hailed as the first openly gay lead of an American broadcast drama.

The series follows Reinhardt as he's brought back into his old CIA operative days when the NYPD needs his assistance to stop a serial killer. Cumming stars alongside Aussie actor Bojana Novakovic as well as Naveen Andrews, Daniel Ings and Sharon Leal.

Speaking to Studio 10 on Tuesday Cumming said he was "very proud to be planting a flag in the sand" for a network drama.

"I also really like the way that this character's sexuality is, 'and also he's gay'. There are many other things about him that are more prominent in the story."

Cumming's character is married to a man in the series which the 53-year-old described as a very positive portrayal of a same-sex couple. "That's something that, usually if there's a gay character on network television their gayness is seem as some sort of a problem."

Instead, the character's sexuality is just one of his many, many attributes. In making his sexuality a totally unremarkable trait the series has done something remarkably historic.

Instinct starring Alan Cumming, Bojana Novakovic and Naveen Andrews
Cumming stars alongside Aussie actor Bojana Novakovic and 'LOST's Naveen Andrews. Image: Francisco Roman/CBS via Getty Images

"I think in my life in general as a queer person myself I feel a responsibility. I always think 'What would a little teenage lesbian in Wisconsin think about this?'" Cumming, who is openly bisexual, told Studio 10.

"If people see you as a well-known person, if they can't see you being proud and open and standing up for things -- what are they going to do?"

"This is another example of me trying to be a role model, in some ways, with my LGBT activism."

The actor, singer and cabaret performer has brought his show Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs down under twice, and the Instinct star hopes to be back again with his latest show.

Instinct premieres 8.45 Wednesday may 16 on ten and tenplay

Featured image: Jeff Neumann/CBS via Getty Images.