ANDI MACK, an immensely popular show on the Disney Channel, has its season two premiere this Friday night (8pm ET/PT)...and is a ground-breaking episode: One of the lead characters begins a coming-out process that will continue throughout the season.
If you haven't seen the show, ANDI MACK is a contemporary coming-of-age story about a relatable girl who's trying to determine where she fits in and the many amazing ways she can live her life. On the eve of her 13th birthday, Andi learns that her older sister, Bex, is actually her mother. This revelation puts Andi on an unfamiliar path of self-discovery which she navigates with the help of her loving albeit complicated family; her two best friends, Cyrus and Buffy; and her middle school crush, Jonah Beck.
In the season two premiere airing Friday night, 13 year-old Cyrus begins to realize that he too has feelings for Jonah Beck, and shares this discovery with Buffy. This realization begins an important part of his journey to self-discovery and ultimately, his self-acceptance. The scene--realistically and beautifully portrayed by actors Joshua Rush (as Cyrus Goodman) and Sofia Wylie (as Buffy Driscoll)--is about as moving as it gets (and had at least one PFLAG staffer in tears as they watched). The conversation between these two friends really models the brave first step of a questioning teen, and the loving response of a friend when that information is shared with them. In subsequent episodes, Cyrus begins to understand himself, and can count on supportive friends Buffy and Andi who, as teenagers, are also on a journey to self-discovery. He also grapples with how to tell his new girlfriend Iris about his new understanding of himself.
“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," says PFLAG National Executive Director Dr. Jaime Grant. "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."
This storyline is a first for Disney, though the commitment to inclusive storytelling isn't new for the company.
If you've found us because you're already a fan of the show and need support of your own, here is where you can start:
- BE YOURSELF: A PFLAG National publication for LGBTQ and questioning youth, available for free download.
- OUR CHILDREN: A PFLAG National publication for parents, caregivers, and families of youth who are LGBTQ...learn how to support your young loved ones here
- Find a local meeting: There are nearly 400 PFLAG chapters across the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.