Disney Channel series Andi Mack will reveal that one of the main characters, Cyrus (Joshua Rush), is gay.
The episode shows Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) sorting out her feelings for her classmate Jonah (Asher Angel), while Cyrus realizes that he also like Jonah. Cyrus confides in his and Andi’s best friend, Buffy (Sofia Wylie), as he grapples how to tell his new girlfriend. Buffy’s reaction is intended to serve as a positive impact for both children and adults.
“Andi Mack is a story about twins figuring out who they are; [creator] Terri Minsky, the cast and everyone involved in the show takes great care in ensuring that it’s appropriate for all audiences and sends a powerful message about inclusion and respect for humanity,” a Disney Channel spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
Gay characters have previously appeared on Disney Channel shows such as Good Luck Charlie and Doc McStuffins, but the storyline of a young character realizing that he or she is gay is a first for the network, according to ET.
The episode was pre-screened for several organizations, like Common Sense Media, GLAAD and PFLAG. Disney Channel and Minsky also collaborated with child development experts in formulating the premiere’s storyline.
“With more and more young people coming out as LGBTQ, Andi Mack is reflecting the lives and lived experiences of so many LGBTQ youth around the country,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO. “Television reflects the real-life world, and today that includes LGBTQ youth who deserve to see their lives depicted on their favorite shows. Disney has been a leader in LGBTQ inclusion, and there are so many young people who will be excited to see Cyrus’ story unfold.”
“Sharing one’s innermost self can be challenging, and to do so as an adolescent can be particularly so, especially when in the midst of figuring it out for yourself. Coming out requires honest self-reflection, no small amount of bravery and a safe place with at least one trusted person — a friend, a parent, a teacher — who can hold your confidence … and your heart,” PFLAG executive director Dr. Jaime M. Grant added. “Andi Mack’s creative team captures this moment of revelation with such thought, care and authenticity; it will be a memory moment for some, and a teachable moment for many.”
Season 2 of Andi Mack premiers on Oct. 27 on Disney Channel.