When I was looking up information for my entry on Cyrus, I came across the character of Josh. Apparently, he was the first Disney Channel character to have a coming-out scene. Now, I was not aware of this show as it was a Disney Channel UK show. Thankfully, the show was available on Disney+. So, I found the episode where the coming-out scene takes place and it appears to be part two of a two-part episode. And if I am, to be honest, the coming-out scene felt detached from the rest of the episode.
In Help It’s announced that Josh is gay. Thereby he is the first openly gay main character on a Disney Channel series. They don’t specifically say the word “gay”, but he says he doesn’t like girls.
Now, this is something that bugs me a bit considering that this episode aired in 2017, and while it confirms the character as gay, it doesn’t use the word. Am I saying that using the word is important? Perhaps and while this is a good first step and it is still important in the grand scheme of Disney characters. It is a small moment that as I said comes near the end of the episode, which I think I’d be more okay with if I hadn’t already seen other episodes that prominently feature LGTBQ characters. And we will be seeing shows where they are lead characters in the future.
The one thing that I do like with Josh’s coming-out scene is handled as Josh is so much confident in telling another boy who says that he and the lead girl, Skye would make a cute couple. It feels natural and he is confident in who he is. I guess I’m conflicted, on the one hand, you don’t always need to use the word but at the same time, I feel as though, there is an importance in using the word.
Do not mistake me for saying that him not saying is less valid. Rather, I’m just a bit torn as I do think that this is important, and looking at his Wiki entry, I don’t see any mention of a relationship. Ah well, overall still important. And he does seem like a good character. Join us next time as we look at the LGTBQ characters of High School Musical.