Disney Channel is no new champion to the pro-LGBTQ+ movement, and they continue to proudly show their support for the community by introducing a gay storyline in one of its coming-of-age series.
“Andi Mack”, which originated back in April, is a series that follows the life and adventures of 13-year-old Andi Mack, played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee, and her two best friends, Buffy Driscoll (Sofia Wylie) and Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush). The main focus of the series is to show the journey of young teenagers figuring out who they are, which was made clear from the very beginning as Andi learned that her free-spirited older sister Bex (Lilan Bowden) was actually her mother during the pilot episode. At that moment, Andi’s journey of self-discovery began and has been aided by her two best friends, Buffy and Cyrus, ever since as they, too, are trying to figure out who they are and where they stand in this crazy world.
During the Friday premiere of its second season, Andi was struggling with a crush on one of her middle school classmates, Jonah, and later in the episode, Cyrus shares that he is struggling with the realization that he, too, had a crush on Jonah when he comes out to Buffy. Take a look at the emotional, heartfelt scene below:
This move by Disney Channel wasn’t the first of its type, but it was definitely historic as it became the channel’s first story arc about a character coming out as gay. In other words, this is the first time Disney Channel will display a character’s journey to self-discovery as an LGBTQ+ individual on live-action TV. What makes this projection even more remarkable is the effort put into making this introduction come to life in the best way possible. In an effort to make sure Cyrus’s story came across in both an age-appropriate and respectful manner, Terri Minsky, the show’s creator, and Disney Channel consulted child development experts, in addition to pre-screening the premiere episode to a few LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, which included GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Defamation), PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and Common Sense Media.
“With more and more young people coming out as LGBTQ+, Andi Mack is reflecting the lives and lived experiences of so many LGBTQ+ youth around the country.”
- Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO
According to Deadline Hollywood, “Andi Mack” ranks as the most popular TV series of 2017 among girls ages 6-11, 9-14, and 6-14. Yet, as usual, everyone just won’t be happy. One Million Moms (OMM), a conservative group known for being anti-anything gay, posted a statement on their website last Thursday - the day before the episode aired - ‘alerting’ all moms while simultaneously bashing Disney Channel for “becoming another Freeform Network” that no longer caters to children and abandons family-friendly content. The petition created by OMM garnered more than 7,000 signatures; however, as expected, and rightfully so, Disney Channel kept their position in airing the episode and it was received with much more warm welcomes and appreciation than not. To catch “Andi Mack,” tune into to Disney Channel every Friday at 8:00 pm EST.