Last year, Disney’s popular teen show Andi Mack made headlines around the world following Joshua Rush’s character, Cyrus Goodman coming out as gay.
Banned across Africa, the first episode of the second season, shown in the United States in October 2017, Cyrus bravely told his friend Buffy (Sofia Wylie) that he had feelings for another boy.
This moment meant that Cyrus became the first recurring gay character on the Disney Channel.
16-year-old Rush has since spoken out about the challenges of the role and the controversy that followed, saying “I feel the pressure, and I also don’t,”
Speaking with PEOPLE Now Rush adds, “I think the most important thing for me when I got this part was to do it right.”
“I knew that I wanted to do it justice because I knew that people were gonna end up seeing this and being like, ‘Wow that’s me, I identify with that, and I can be who I am now,”
“I also wanted to make sure that it’s not all-encompassing. Like that’s not all of Cyrus’ personality.”
The show soon went on to be nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the category of Outstanding Kids & Family Programming and has been described as extremely relevant by GLAAD.
“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,” explains Sarah Kate Ellis, President, and CEO of GLAAD.
“Television reflects the real-life world and today that includes LGBTQ youth who deserve to see their lives depicted on their favourite shows.”