Disney made major strides toward inclusivity last spring with the release of its live-action Beauty and the Beast movie, making history as the company’s first film with a gay character in LeFou. Now, the Disney Channel is set to make similar waves as Cyrus Goodman, one of the main characters on the network’s popular teen series Andi Mack, will soon come out to his friends.
While the channel has previously represented the LGBTQ+ community in second-tier characters without minimal roles (Good Luck Charlie briefly featured a lesbian couple in 2013, and recently, the animated show Doc McStuffins also featured an interracial lesbian couple as parents), this is the first time the Disney Channel is identifying a main character as gay and fully exploring the coming-out journey.
“Andi Mack is a story about ‘tweens figuring out who they are,” the Disney Channel said in a statement. “Terri Minsky [the show’s creator], 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.”
13-year-old Cyrus will begin his story arc in the one-hour season two premiere this Friday, Oct. 27. The episode will see him realize he has feelings for the same boy that his best friend, Andi, does. Throughout the season, Cyrus will learn about his sexual orientation with the support of his friends and family, while also struggling with how to tell his new girlfriend while on his journey to living his truth.
To ensure that Cyrus’ storyline was age-appropriate and respectful to all communities, the Disney Channel consulted child development experts, as well as LGBTQ+ organizations such as GLAAD and PFLAG.
“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,” PFLAG National Executive Director Dr. Jaime Grant said in a statement. “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. Andi Mack’s creative team captures this moment of revelation with such thought, care, and authenticity; it will be a memorable moment for some, and a teachable moment for many.”
What do you think of the Disney Channel’s ‘Andi Mack’ storyline? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photo via Disney)