Joshua Rush, a 17-year old actor who played the first-ever openly gay Disney Channel character on the show Andi Mack, came out on Tuesday as bisexual.
He did so via a series of revealing and candid Tweets.
“first to respond to this tweet is bi lol,” Rush wrote, prior replying to his own post as follows:
“first! i win! it’s me. i’m bi. And now that I’ve said that, I have a few things to rant about.
“There are more important things to talk about than me liking a whole bunch of genders, but I do want to share a few things with you guys.”
The actor then referenced his aforementioned Andi Mack character, expounding in detail:
“I saw so many of you watch Cyrus come out and said ‘Hey! I can be me!’ How ironic, isn’t it, that me, playing that character, never had mustered up that courage?
“Instead of feeling the courage to tell you today that I am an out and proud bisexual man because of the character I played for four years, I feel that courage thinking of all of you, who felt emboldened by Cyrus to come out.”
Coming to terms with his sexual orientation was something Rush said was challenging for awhile… even while portraying a character going through a similar thing on screen.
“I had a close friend of mine come out to me in fifth grade. FIFTH GRADE! That was well before I had any clue of my own identity and orientation. I suffered with some level of my own internalized homophobia even while playing the first openly gay character on Disney Channel,” he wrote, later adding:
“I stuffed the existential crisis of talking about my sexual orientation into a box in my mind for years. Today, I release it into the world.
“Being bi isn’t all of my identity, nor is it the most important part of my identity.
“Bi erasure and issues like it are important, but trans women of color still have a life expectancy of THIRTY FIVE YEARS and that is absolutely unacceptable.”
So … how did Rush get to this point?
He gave a lot of credit to material produced by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and he encouragedd his followers to donate to this organization.
“Our show wouldn’t have existed in the form that it did without them, but also because their hard work in furthering acceptance in media helps an uncountable number of people,” he wrote, continuing:
“I also want to encourage you to read their page on bisexuality.
“It has been incredibly helpful to me, and their resources have helped me to find where I fit on the spectrum of sexuality.”
Thankfully, most followers responded to Rush’s admission with praise and support.
He concluded his honest and vital message as follows:
I also want to ask you to donate to The Trevor Project, who are literally saving lives every day. Helping young LGBTQ+ voices feel heard and loved is utterly crucial.
Thank you to you for giving me the courage to know who I am and tell you this today. Happy 20biteen!