The Disney Channel is set to feature its first ever gay storyline.
Cyrus Goodman, a 13-year-old schoolboy in Andi Mack – the network’s popular coming-of-age series – will realise he is gay and come out to his friends, the channel has announced.
The character, played by Joshua Rush, will begin his self-discovery when the second series begins this Friday.
“Andi Mack is a story about ‘tweens’ figuring out who they are,” said the Disney Channel in a statement. “[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.”
The series premiered in March and follows lead character Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) as she deals with the news that Bex, the girl she thought was her older sister, is actually her mother. Cyrus Goodman is one of her best friends.
In the first series, the storyline focused largely on Andi’s relationship with Bex, but also centred on her long-time crush on a classmate named Jonah. Series two will show Cyrus coming to terms with the fact that he too has feelings for Jonah.
Throughout the forthcoming series, Cyrus will have to confide in his friends and wrestle with how to break the news to his new girlfriend.
Andi Mack has been praised by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for “reflecting the lives and lived experiences of so many LGBTQ youth around the country”.
The second series of Andi Mack premieres on 27th October at 8pm on Disney Channel.