Disney Channel star Joshua Rush has come out as bisexual.
The actor tweeted on Tuesday that despite playing a gay character, Cyrus, on “Andi Mack,” it was difficult for him to be public about his sexuality.
He added that he suffered from “internalized homophobia” that led to an “existential crisis,” but now, “I release it into the world.”
“Being bi isn’t all of my identity, nor is it the most important part of my identity,” Rush tweeted. “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.”
Rush, 17, made history last year when his “Andi Mack” character came out as gay, becoming the first Disney Channel character ever to do so. The positive response from fans was inspirational, he said.
“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,” he wrote.
In his Twitter thread, Rush also encouraged his 69,800 followers to donate to GLAAD and The Trevor Project, two organizations dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ community.
“Joshua Rush pioneered a role that positively impacted the lives of LGBTQ young people and their families, and it’s so encouraging to know that the response from viewers and fans gave him the courage and the confidence to live his own life authentically,” said Zeke Stokes, GLAAD chief programs officer, in a statement. “Sharing his truth will no doubt inspire countless others.”
Added Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project: “It can mean so much to young LGBTQ people to see their sexual orientation and gender identity portrayed in media and Hollywood, especially if they aren’t able to safely express themselves. We’re grateful to Joshua Rush for showing his fans that he supports them, and that they are perfect and beautiful the way they are.”
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