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Disney Channel is making history with its first gay coming-out story

Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” is making history with the network’s first story line about a gay character coming out.

The comedic drama from “Lizzie McGuire” creator Terri Minsky follows 13-year-old Andi (Petyon Elizabeth Lee) as she navigates her early teens. In the Season 2 premiere, airing at 8 p.m. Friday night, Andi’s friend Cyrus (Joshua Rush) will begin his coming-out journey.

Disney has introduced gay characters before — “Beauty and the Beast” made headlines earlier this year for featuring an openly gay LeFou, and Disney XD’s animated series “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” made history in its second season with Disney’s first same-sex kiss. Other Disney franchises, such as “High School Musical,” have alluded to gay characters. But “Andi Mack,” which became a network hit after its April debut, is the first Disney franchise to center a story line around a major character coming out as gay.

Cyrus’s story isn’t the first groundbreaking move for “Andi Mack.” In the pilot episode, Andi learns that her big sister, Bex, is actually her biological mother — a decidedly mature story line for a tween-focused show.

“‘Andi Mack’ is a story about ‘tweens’ figuring out who they are,” Disney Channel said in a statement earlier this week. “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 upcoming story line has earned praise from the media advocacy group GLAAD.

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