In a first for Disney Channel, a key character on its popular series Andi Mack will come out as gay.
Andi Mack’s second season premiere will show one of the main protagonists, Cyrus, coming to terms with his sexuality and feelings for a male classmate. The episode, airing Friday, will show Cyrus confiding in his best friend, Buffy, as he struggles with telling his new girlfriend.
Buffy’s reaction is intended to show a positive example for adults and children.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney Channel said: “Andi Mack is a story about ‘tweens’ 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.”
Gay characters have previously appeared on Disney Channel programmes, such as Doc McStuffins and Good Luck Charlie, but this is the first episode dedicated entirely to an LGBT character, and with a coming out storyline.
Disney Channel and the show’s creator, Terri Minsky both worked with child development experts to create the episode.
It was also pre-screened for several key organisations, like Common Sense Media, GLAAD and PFLAG.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD said: “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,”
“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.”
Joshua Rush, who plays Cyrus in Andi Mack, took to Instagram with the following statement: “Andi Mack gives young people and their parents, mentors, and champions a meaningful way to talk about these topics and the power to decide their futures.”
“I’m so proud to bring Cyrus’ groundbreaking storyline to life and for you to see what we’ve been working on.”