Disney 'Family' Show: 'I'm Gay' -- 'OK, Cool'

By Michael W. Chapman | February 12, 2019 | 11:58am EST
Gay character Cyrus Goodman in
the Disney Channel program
"Andi Mack." (YouTube)

In a recent episode of Disney's popular Andi Mack show, which targets elementary and middle school kids, the homosexual character "Cyrus Goodman" finally comes out of the closet and states on-screen, "I'm gay." His friend "Jonah Beck" then replies, "Yeah? Okay, cool."

This is the first time that a Disney character has said the words, "I'm gay," according to the Washington Blade. The Disney program is designed, in part, to teach young children that homosexuality is normal and must be accepted. 

As explained by The Blade, in the Feb. 8 episode, "One in a Minyan," Cyrus Goodman's grandmother dies and he invites his friends to her shiva. As Goodman is explaining the type of food at the event to Beck, he says, "That’s gefilte fish – skip that – and I’m gay.”  

Beck then looks at Goodman, smiles and says, "Yeah? Okay, cool."

A writer for "Andi Mack," Jonathan Hurwitzh, who is also gay and Jewish, explained that this episode was based on his own coming out experience.

"In the writer’s room, I shared a personal story about how nervous I was to come out to a college friend back in 2010," said Hurwitzh in an article for GLAAD. "While grabbing burgers one afternoon, he asked me to pass the ketchup, so I handed him the bottle while mumbling the words, 'I’m gay.' He looked up at me, said 'Cool,' then proceeded to put ketchup on his burger as if I hadn’t just revealed my most personal, deepest truth."

Commenting on the episode, Joshua Rush, who plays "Cyrus Goodman," tweeted, "Every day is a blessing working on this show. This milestone is just another stitch in a rich and vibrant tapestry that is Cyrus Goodman."

A scene from the "Andi Mack" program on the Disney Channel. (YouTube)

The Andi Mack show, which premiered on Disney in April 2017, is in its thrid season. It won the GLAAD Media Award in 2018 for outstanding kids and family programming. It was also nominated for the British LGBT Award in 2018. 

"With a median viewer age of 10 years old, Andi Mack is the No. 1 series this year [2018] among girls and top-rated in its time period among kids 6-14," according to the Hollywood Reporter

"In its written policy on its stories and characters, The Walt Disney Co. as a whole emphasizes inclusion, 'with stories that reflect acceptance and tolerance and celebrate the differences that make our characters uniquely wonderful in their own way,'" stated the Hollywood Reporter.

"In formulating the storyline, [Terri] Minsky and Disney Channel sought guidance from child development experts; the season premiere also was screened in advance for several organizations, including Common Sense Media, GLAAD and PFLAG."

"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," GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told the Reporter. "Television reflects the real-life world, and today that includes LGBTQ youth who deserve to see their lives depicted on their favorite shows. Disney has been a leader in LGBTQ inclusion, and there are so many young people who will be excited to see Cyrus' story unfold."

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