Disney Channel’s Andi Mack is about to make history… again.
Already considered groundbreaking for its handling of unconventional pregnancies — the show’s titular character (played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee) learns that her “older sister” is actually her mother — the coming-of-age dramedy will soon introduce the network’s first gay character.
In the show’s second season, which kicks off with a one-hour premiere on Friday, Oct. 27 (8/7c), Andi’s best friend Cyrus (Joshua Rush) will come to the realization that he has feelings for Andi’s main squeeze Jonah (Asher Angel), TVLine has learned. Throughout the second season, Cyrus will gradually begin to understand himself, leaning on Buffy (Sofia Wylie) and Andi, who are also going through their own journeys as teenagers.
To make certain that Cyrus’ story is told appropriately and respectfully, Disney Channel and series creator Terri Minsky consulted with child development experts throughout the writing process. Additionally, the season premiere was screened in advance for multiple organizations, including Common Sense Media, GLAAD and PFLAG.
“Andi Mack is a story about ‘tweens’ figuring out who they are,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement. “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.
Though this is the first time Disney Channel has shown a character’s journey to self-discovery as a gay person, it’s not the first time an LGBT character has been featured on one of its original series. A 2013 episode of Good Luck Charlie introduced viewers (briefly) to a lesbian couple whose child befriended the Duncans’ youngest daughter.
Your thoughts on Cyrus’ journey? Any surprised fans out there? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.