Frank Underwood, the protagonist in Netflix’s House of Cards played by Kevin Spacey, has an ambiguous sexuality that gets further called into question in the series’ third season.

Is Frank Underwood Gay?

House of Cards creator Beau Willimon is often asked about Frank’s sexuality due to a scene with Secret Service Agent Edward Meechum (Nathan Darrow) that occurred during the series’ second season. For Willimon, Frank’s sexuality isn’t easily defined. In fact, the executive producer doesn’t think that the character even defines his own sexuality, preferring to be led purely by attraction – wherever that happens to lead him.

“People have asked me straight up, ‘Is Frank Underwood bisexual? Is he gay?’ And I don’t think Frank Underwood really puts much stock in those sort of labels. As he says in the Sentinel episode [in Season 1], ‘When I’m attracted to someone, I’m attracted to them. Period,'” Willimon told The Huffington Post. “He’s a man with a large appetite, he’s a man who does not allow himself to be placed in any sort of milieu or with one definition.”

“I think he’s incredibly guarded with who he lets get close to him, whether that’s platonic or whether that’s sexual,” Willimon added. “And when he does, it’s not necessarily a gender or preference, it really has to do with trust. There’s very few people in this world that we’ve created that he can trust. … We try to approach Frank the way he approaches himself, which is not to sort of pin him down.”


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During season 3 of House of Cards, which premiered on Netflix last month, Frank develops an emotionally intimate relationship with author Thomas Yates (Paul Sparks), who he commissions to write his biography. In one poignant scene, the two men clasp hands on a couch before the affectionate moment is cut short and Frank dismisses Thomas. According to Willimon, while the relationship could have veered into a sexual one, that’s not really what the scene was about.

“It’s an emotional connection. Not necessarily a sexual one, but it could be. It depends on how you look at that moment and I think there’s a lot of gray area there,” Willimon explained. “At least for that moment, he can trust Thomas Yates, whether it evaporates quickly or not.”

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