Children and adolescents across America are growing up watching shows on Disney Channel. Popular shows back in my Disney days used to include Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and That’s So Raven. Today, the popular shows include Raven’s Home, Liv and Maddie, Bunk’d, and America’s most recent controversial spotlight star: Andi-Mack. Andi-Mack is centered around the main character trying to figure out who she is with the help of her mother. Seems like a normal TV show, right? Well people are freaking out because one of the characters, Cyrus Goodman, is going to discover his sexuality during season two of the show.
Joshua Rush, who plays Cyrus Goodman, posted on his Instagram page about his personal thoughts on his character’s development: “Starting conversations about trust, love, relationships and family dynamics is easier when you have a show that you can relate to. Andi-Mack gives young people and their parents, mentors, and champions a meaningful way to talk about these topics and the power to decide their futures.” Shouldn’t this be the outlook we’re all having- because Disney is not trying to force anything on anyone. Disney is just trying to teach people to be more understanding as they grow up, and I think that that’s great.
Personally, I never thought about my sexuality as a young child. I didn’t even know the word “sexuality.” This doesn’t mean that other kids never thought about their sexuality though. The point is that Disney is NOT going to be showing anything inappropriate on Andi-Mack, so what exactly is the big deal? I’m sure that everyone (old enough to understand) knows at least one LGBTQ person, so what’s the big deal that your kid is going to see an LGBTQ person on television? Seriously, I don’t get it. Other shows depict adolescents getting involved in heterosexual relationships, so don’t try and pull the “I’m trying to keep my child pure” card. Plus, Disney shows like Good Luck Charlie portrayed a lesbian couple, as did Doc McStuffins. Disney is just trying to open kids up to being more accepting – which could possibly start a path towards ending some bullying problems. It’s really a win-win situation here, people.
In today’s day and age, we are growing up in a more accepting society than previous generations. This show is actually very relevant since many youth are growing up as LGBTQ youth who deserve to be properly depicted on television just like any other kid. Disney gave a statement to Variety concerning the show’s appropriateness, as well as commenting on the reason for the character’s sexuality: “…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.” Disney is on the right track here. We should be aiming at having a much more inclusive and respectful society, especially when it comes to LGBTQ youth.