Disney Channel’s Andi Mack is set to follow one of the key characters on his coming-out journey during the series’ season two premiere on Friday. A first for the channel, the arc will chronicle 13-year-old character, Cyrus Goodman, and his self-discovery.
The series was developed by Lizzie McGuire creator Terri Minsky and premiered on Disney Channel in March. It follows 13-year-old Andi Mack and her navigation through her early teen years. The show premiered with her older sister, Bex, telling Andi that she is actually her mother. Compared to other shows on Disney Channel, such a storyline is rather “mature” for the tween-geared network.
In a statement made by Disney Channel, the network commented that “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.” With its teen pregnancy storyline, and now a coming-out arc, the show is doing just that.
Minsky and Disney Channel reportedly consulted with child development experts, and the show was screened by GLADD, PFLAG, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Common Sense Media to ensure that the story lines remained age-appropriate and respectful, while also exposing children to topics they need to be exposed to. All of the groups gave high praise to the network and creators for the progressive storyline.
By introducing a coming-out arc for a young teenager, Disney Channel and Andi Mack are exposing kids to topics they might not otherwise be exposed to. Additionally, they are giving kids a glance real life experiences for LGBTQ+ people and allowing kids who may be questioning to know that what they are feeling is OK and valid. These things are important for kids to see on television, especially if they don’t see it in their own lives.