Disney Channel has made history after airing its first ever gay storyline in an episode of childrens’ comedy drama Andi Mack.
Friday’s season two premiere last week saw 13-year-old middle school student Cyrus (Joshua Rush) revealed he had a crush on his friend Jona (Asher Angel).
The episode saw Cyrus confide in close friend Buffy (Sofia Wylie) as he admitted he felt jealous over Jonah’s relationship with the titular Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) – and in uplifting scenes Buffy promised to help support him.
“You’ve always been weird, but you’re no different,” Buffy tells him. And when Cyrus expresses fear and confusion at his feelings, Buffy reassures him that he’ll “be OK.”
Producers have promised that upcoming episodes will deal with Cyrus’s ongoing journey of self-discovery as he comes to terms with his sexuality and wrestles with how to tell his girlfriend, Iris.
While the storyline has been heralded as a groundbreaking moment for LGBT representation on screen, it’s come with the predictable backlash from some conservative groups; including One Million Moms, who have already launched a petition to get Andi Mack itaken off air.
Andi Mack airs Firdays at 8pm ET in the US. Watch Cyrus’s emotional coming out scene below: