Brad William Henke talked about his gay character on the Netflix dramedy Orange is the New Black with gay glossy Out.

On the show, Henke, 50, plays Desi Piscatella, a stern corrections officer who confidently doles out discipline to the inmates at Litchfield penitentiary.

In the show's fourth and most recent season, viewers learn that Piscatella's parents sent him to a camp to alter his sexuality from gay to straight.

Henke told Out that he based his character on gay friends.

“I know their frustrations with how they are represented,” he said. “And it's funny, because on Instagram people have written, 'Thank you for playing a real person who is also gay.' That is my [character's] sexuality. But I am a flawed person as Piscatella. And I'm also a good person as Piscatella. I'm everything, you know? And I think that sometimes doesn't make it onto TV.”

Henke, a character actor and former NFL player, said that half of the people who recognize him on the street are gay.

“They are so sweet when they see me. If people feel like I did a good job and represented them well, then that means everything to me,” he said.

Henke also talked about his character's sexuality, specifically how he's not ashamed of it.

“There comes a certain time in your life when you go: I am who I am, and I’m happy with who I am, and I’m good at my job. He is not looking to other people for validation. That’s the thing about him: He has confidence. He goes to work – and he goes wherever he goes after work. And this is his life. So he’s not going to be afraid to tell people who he is. He knows that he’s damned good at his job,” Henke said.