Disney Channel's teen series Andi Mack is set to make network history as the first show to get a gay storyline in its upcoming season 2. According to a spokesperson for the channel, the story arc will focus on 13-year-old Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush) and his journey towards self understanding and making a choice to come out to his friends.
"Andi Mack is a story about 'tweens' figuring out who they are," Disney Channel said 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 storyline has been based on research and input from child development experts along with consultancy from organisations like Common Sense Media, GLAAD and PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
"Sharing one's innermost self can be challenging, and to do so as an adolescent can be particularly so, especially when in the midst of figuring it out for yourself," Dr Jaime M Grant, executive director of PFLAG National said in a statement. "Coming out requires honest self-reflection, no small amount of bravery, and a safe place with at least one trusted person — a friend, a parent, a teacher — who can hold your confidence... and your heart. Andi Mack's creative team captures this moment of revelation with such thought, care, and authenticity; it will be a memory moment for some, and a teachable moment for many."
In season 2, which premiere's on 27 October, 13-year-old Andi Mack (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) will continue to have a crush on Jonah Beck (Asher Angel). However, her best friend Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush) will soon realise that he also has feelings for Jonah and will confide in Buffy (Sofia Wylie).
The rest of the season is expected to shed light on Cyrus' struggles and efforts to understand his feelings as he continues his journey of self-discovery.