The Disney Channel Makes History With The Network’s First Gay Character

As many of us know, The Disney Channel is a staple of entertainment for kids growing up. While we don’t necessarily watch The Disney Channel regularly now as adults, we can remember the times when we would look forward to Friday nights at home and see the Mickey Mouse ears logo meaning it was time for a new episode of one of our favorite TV shows or a Disney Channel original movie. Over time, the narratives of shows and movies have progressed alongside society and things that were occurring around kids and adolescence, which is why it was always hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that no Disney Channel show really introduced an openly gay character on their network until now.

SO ready for season 2! #AndiMack

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According to Deadline, the new TV show “Andi Mack” will focus on a boy who is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality – which, has never truly been done on the network before. The show stars 15-year-old Joshua Rush who plays a 13-year-old who is coming to terms with the feelings he has for another boy in his friend group. It touches upon many struggles that a lot of adolescent teens in America now often face. The Disney Channel issued a statement about the TV show saying:

Andi Mack is a story about ‘tweens’ figuring out who they are. [Show 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.

According to the shows’ writers and the network, the show will follow the narrative of 13-year-old Cyrus Goodman and his “coming out” and struggling with how to tell his “new girlfriend” that he is in fact interested in boys and not girls.

Sneak peek from Friday's new episode of #AndiMack. How do you think Bowie should propose? #3Days

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With it being 2017 and gay marriage finally being legalized across The United States, I would think that kids growing up would watch TV shows that incorporated this into their plot-lines and narratives – but, I guess I was wrong. While I think it is a bit late in the game – I am impressed to see that The Disney channel is finally opening up its doors to including everyone (or, more people that is) into its TV show plots.

The message – it seems – from the network is to not only teach kids to be understanding and accepting, but also teach adults, as well. Let’s face it – not every parent is super accepting of kids who are a bit different.

The Walt Disney Company issued a statement saying:

Our stories are timeless because they speak to the heart; our characters appeal to children across gender, ability, and experience because they’re defined by kindness, loyalty, humor, courage, wit and other traits that make a good friend. Disney remains committed to continuing to create characters that are accessible and relatable to all children.

My response? About time y’all.

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Written by Lex Gabrielle

A writer and teacher from New York City who fully supports messy buns and 3+ cups of coffee a day.