Disney Channel’s First Gay Character: Why It Matters

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Disney Channel’s First Gay Character: Why It Matters


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Cyrus Goodman is a 13-year-old boy played by Joshua Rush on popular children’s TV programming Disney Channel, the program is making a huge step for people. Cyrus is Disney’s first Gay character, which is revealed in season two, episode one when he confides in best friend Buffy Driscole, portrayed by Sofia Wylie, on their well-liked TV show Andi Mack.

Andi Mack first aired on April 7, 2017 and has had a run of 43 episodes. The show is not only well-liked but it has a score of 7.5/10 from IMDb, a website that tracks and rates television programs. The show is about, as the name hints at, 13-year-old Andi Mack, who is portrayed by Peyton Elizabeth Lee. She is the protagonist of the series who deals with the discovery that her elder sister is actually her mother. It’s a story about ‘tweens’ trying to figure out who they are as Andi, Cyrus, and Buffy navigate through their lives.

The first season also involves Andi’s longtime crush Jonah Beck, who is played by Asher Angel. Slowly but surely during the season, viewers begin to see how Cyrus starts to realize that he also likes Jonah through his own journey of discovery.

Season two starts with a bang when he confides in Buffy. He finds a supportive friend that the network wants and hopes will serve as a role model for kids and adults as stated in the company’s general statement, “Disney remains committed to continuing to create characters that are accessible and relatable to all children.”

The rest of the first season sees Cyrus continuing with his journey alongside friends Andi and Buffy, as well as him figuring out how to tell his new girlfriend, Iris, about his sexuality.

For high school students who have grown up in a pretty open world when it comes to sexuality the show is simply falling in line with the times. Shanice Moore, a 12th grader at Watkins Mill High School feels that the series does the right thing. “Yeah, I think it’s a good thing that the LGBT+ community are finally having more representation. I feel like it makes it able for kids, well more like preteens who are also struggling with their identity/sexuality to understand that it’s completely ok because it helps them realize that they’re not alone.”

Another student at Watkins Mill, 11th Grader Kymoni Dorsey, is a big fan of the show and says, “It’s amazing because now a lot of characters get the opportunity to do that and have fun with it. It’s a message that kids need to hear nowadays.”
In the nearby area, Lesly Cruz an 11th grader at Magruder High School expressed, “I think it’s a good thing to show LGBT+ representation in a show for kids around their preteen to teenage years. It shows that kids at a young age do struggle to find their identity and sexuality and makes them discover things about their self.”

Student Grace Miller at Clarksburg High, another 11th grader, said, “Yeah, I’ve seen it couple times before and it makes me feel happy and proud because TV shows nowadays are educating kids or whoever is watching the show that being gay or in the LGBT+ community is wrong. You should be able love or like whoever and be true to yourself. It’s a good thing to have it showing because kids or everyone that’s in the closet could encourage them to come out and feel they don’t have to hide themselves to society or the world and it also shows that our generation is more accepting.”
At Paint Branch, 11th graders Brianna Martinez and Julian Pagan feel positive about the show. Martinez states, “I think it’s good to have open characters on the show. It really sends a message on how the world is accepting the different people in our world.”

Pagan says, “I feel that it is good for the show to be open enough to accept people with different beliefs I feel that it could be a start from it being on TV to having the whole world to accept them.”
These student’s thoughts all lead back to one thing, acceptance is higher in this generation. They also mention how it’s important to give LGBT+ more representation because it can show another kid who’s struggling that they aren’t alone. Disney introducing their first gay character shows how the world is changing and how there are children struggling with their orientation.

On December 3rd Hollywire, a source on celebrity news and fashion, interviewed Rush and asked how he feels about playing such a role. “It feels cool, it feels powerful. I think so many people have been and will continue to be impacted in a positive way because of this story and it’s a powerful thing.” said Rush.
Showing more same-sex couples on television really can help any child who identifies as a LGBT+ member feel okay about their orientation. It’s telling children that they are not “wrong” for liking what they do. Exposure of LGBT+ can help create a society that is more loving and accepting of others differences because it’s already something that their used to seeing.

By giving these struggling children someone they can see themselves in and watching how that character handles and accepts themselves is a part of their own self-discovery.
This is important and needs to be on shows and shared because it matters to the children who are confused or struggling with how to handle their feelings. Kids do struggle with orientation as preteens or even in their younger years, so it is important to get that message out there, because knowing that you’re not alone can make it easier.

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