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'I feel the pressure': Disney actor on playing first openly gay character

Joshua Rush was 15 when he landed the role

'I feel the pressure': Disney actor on playing first openly gay character
Joshua Rush as Cyrus in the coming out scene. | Photo: YouTube/Disney Channel Central

Last year, the Disney Channel made history when it aired its first ever coming out scene.

The scene was from the Season 2 premiere of their show Andi Mack. Joshua Rush’s character, 13-year-old Cyrus, comes out to his friend Buffy.

Rush, who was 15 when he landed the role, and now 16, talked to People about the historical nature of the role.

‘I feel the pressure, and I also don’t,’ he said. When he got the role, he spent a lot of time preparing for it. ‘I think the most important thing for me when I got this part was to do it right.’

Before the big coming out scene, he revealed he and his co-star Sofia Wylie ran through it many times. ‘We put the work in, and I think it shows,’ he added about the final product.

‘I can be who I am now’

Rush knew the importance of the storyline.

‘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,” but I also wanted to make sure that it’s not all-encompassing. Like that’s not all of Cyrus’ personality,’ he commented.

He added that he was the first person one of his friends came out to, and how powerful this representation will be for others.

It wasn’t received well everywhere, however.

Kenya banned the show because of the storyline. Ultimately, Disney pulled the show from South Africa due to responses.

However, it’s also inspired many and Rush hopes Disney will continue in the same vein.

‘I hope that more shows will follow in Disney’s footsteps with Cyrus’ storyline. Really, I look forward to the day that it’s not an unusual occurrence. I hope everyone can one day see that our differences are beautiful and that love is love.’

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