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Samantha Simon
Aug 16, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

Nico Tortorella isn’t one to hold back—and the more personal the subject, the more he has to say. The 29-year-old Younger star is especially known for his candidness on the topic of his sexuality (he identifies as sexually fluid) in interviews. He even hosts a weekly podcast called The Love Bomb, which features Tortorella chatting about intimacy and relationships with special guests from Hilary Duff to Courtney Love. In these conversations, nothing is off-limits.

“It’s totally free rein,” Tortorella told InStyle last week. “Although I will not support any sort of bullying at all on my podcast or malicious judgment in any way, shape, or form. This is a safe space for everybody to talk about who they are and to celebrate their own individuality.”

Whether they’re discussing marriage and heartbreak or BDSM and sex toys, Tortorella always encounters something unexpected. “I find myself surprised—in a positive way—in every single episode,” he said. “It’s transcended just sitting in a podcast studio recording these things, because I started having these conversations with people and it’s spilled over to the conversations that I’m having in real life."

RELATED: Younger’s Nico Tortorella on Giving Himself a Tattoo IRL and a Possible Baby Plot with Hilary Duff 

Tortorella is using his podcast—and the spotlight that comes with his acting career—to try and remove some of the judgment around sexuality and identity. "I don’t think that we really ever take the time to celebrate each other in the right way. Imagine if we ... treated everyone as individuals who saw the best in each other. We all would be a lot happier," he said. "For me, I have a platform. I am lucky and privileged, and for whatever reason, people are interested in hearing my story. At this point in my career, my responsibility is to share this platform with other people. I cannot keep telling my specific, privileged perspective of what sexual fluidity or my sexuality means to me. I think the only way to understand the spectrum is if we hear stories across socio-economic and racial spectrums.” 

Tortorella thinks that if ever there were a time that mission could succeed, it's now. “All of these stories are getting chances to be told because of social media,” he said. “We’ve only been told one story for so long, right? And it’s a white, heteronormative, traditional family setting. Finally, we’re getting to see these other stories, but not that different from our show, we’re taking a small step in the right direction. Getting a glimpse. A few weeks ago, I did a whole piece on The View with a bunch of the young adults at the LGBT Center here in New York—and the fact that this segment was even on The View is so astronomical to me. It’s the most humbling moment in my career thus far. But there’s still so much work to do."

Next on the podcast, Tortorella is hoping to feature one of the people who most deeply impacted and expanded his understanding of sexuality and gender at a young age. “When I was in sixth and seventh grade, [a] school [administrator] identified as a man—and then, my first day back in eighth grade, came back as a woman," said Tortorella of an early mentor. "She had fully transitioned over the summer, and that was my first-ever understanding in the smallest bit of what it meant to be transgender. I’m sure that that was a really, really difficult day for her, and I commend all of those decisions. I would love to have her on the podcast soon.”

Someone else who Tortorella would love to feature on The Love Bomb? “As an ultimate dream guest, I’m going to [say] James Franco,” he said. “I’ve got some questions ... I think the world’s got some questions.”

Tune into The Love Bomb on iTunes, and catch Younger—which is currently in the middle of its fourth and highest-rated season to date—on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on TV Land.

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