For the first time in its history, The Disney Channel is introducing its first gay story line in season 2 of Andi Mack.
Andi Mack is a coming of age TV series that revolves around Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) and her best friends Cyrus (Joshua Rush), Buffy (Sofia Wylie) and Jonah (Asher Angel).
The storyline emerges when characters Andi and Cyrus admit to being attracted to the same boy during the season 2 premiere.
Cyrus’ story is set to develop over the course of the season, as he begins to understand himself better with help from his family and friends. Buffy is the first person Cyrus has the courage to talk to about how he is feeling and her reaction is heart-warming and admiring.
The episodes that follow will gradually explore Cyrus’ story, in particular, the audience will see how he finds a way to tell his girlfriend, and eventually see him grow into a young person confident in himself and who he is.
Rush discusses Cyrus’ story via Instagram
Joshua Rush, who plays Cyrus, took to Instagram to discuss his feelings about portraying this character in what appears to be an incredibly bold move by Disney.
I’m so proud to bring Cyrus’ groundbreaking storyline to life
”Starting conversations about trust, love, relationships and family dynamics is easier when you have a show you can relate to.” He writes.
”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.”
At the age of just 15, Rush is setting an example for people across the world of all ages on how to correctly handle delicate storylines, especially those representing the evergrowing LGBT+ community. His understanding and willingness to portray the wonderful story of Cyrus will undoubtedly mean the world to plenty of LGBT+ youth.
Disney aims to be inclusive
Ahead of the season 2 premiere, Disney released a statement in which they addressed the history-making storyline.
”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 ensuring that it’s appropriate for all audiences and sends a powerful message about inclusion and respect for humanity.” They explained.
”Disney remains committed to continuing to create characters that are accessible and relatable to all children.”
In order to ensure this storyline would be as effective as possible, Minsky (creator of Andi Mack) discussed it with child development experts. Private screenings also occurred to organisations ahead of its release.
CEO of PFLAG (who attended the private screening) Sarah Kate Ellis said: ”With more and more young people coming out as LGBTQ, Andi Mack is reflecting the lives and lived experiences of so many LGBTQ youths around the country.”
Disney has been a leader in LGBTQ inclusion and there are so many young people who will be excited to see Cyrus’ story unfold
– Sarah Kate Ellis
With the series being one of Disney’s biggest hits this year across all Disney Channel platforms (including its video on demand service and UK channel) – Andi Mack is set to make headlines for all the right reasons.
In a growing age with a more accepting society coming to the forefront, storylines like this are essential in shedding a positive light on LGBTQ folk and ensuring that they’re treated and considered as normal people, regardless of sexuality.
Andi Mack airs 8 pm EST on Fridays.