This week two young Home and Away characters shared a same-sex kiss.
While some people shared their total disgust and outrage, others have stood up in support for the inclusive storyline.
Newcomer to the show Ty (Darius Williams) leaned in to give his friend Ryder (Lukas Radovich) a kiss on the lips after admitting that he ‘likes’ him, prompting Ryder to pull away in confusion.
Ty arrived in Summer Bay in May this year as the foster son of John Palmer and Marilyn Chambers.
Ty and Alf Stewart’s grandson, Ryder, got closer than ever on Tuesday, as Ty played his friend a song he had been working on for Brody Morgan and Ziggy Astoni’s wedding.
The pair then walked outside, where Ty again asked if Ryder really liked his song.
An embarrassed, Ty then admitted: ‘I like you, Ryder.’
Seeming nonplussed, Ryder replied: ‘I like you too, man. You’re the best!’
‘You mean that?’ Ty asked, before leaning in to kiss his friend.
Ryder pulled away looking shocked, and stuttered: ‘I… I didn’t mean…’
Realising he had misjudged the situation, a mortified Ty apologised and hurried away as Ryder called after him.
Shocked and embarrassed he lashes out
On Wednesday nights episode we saw Ryder and Ty fighting after Ryder approached Ty to offer his support and ask the young man if he was actually gay.
Once again due to embarrassment and fear controlling his emotions Ty lashed out at Ryder and the two had a fight. Which leads to Ty running away from home.
The confusion and fear of never being accepted
During Thursday nights episode Ryder finally admitted to his Grandfather, Alf, that the boys had argued after Ty kissed him.
Saying he really didn’t want to tell anyone because he didn’t think his grandfather would understand being so old fashioned.
Alf was very quick to reassure the boys that he would NEVER judge someone for who they were.
Ty managed to injure himself when he ran off into the bush, so a search was soon conducted to locate him.
John was very relieved to find him and reassure him that everything was going to be OK.
While in hospital Ty broke down to his foster parents and admitted he was gay, saying he tried to hide it for so long.
Sadly in the process of trying to hide his true feelings Ty had formed a relationship with young teenage girl, Raffy, who is now beyond heartbroken over the turn of events.
Support floods for the LGBQITA storyline
People have flooded the Home and Away Facebook page with support for the storyline and the young actors.
– “Hope these two get along as Ryder looks very understanding. It’s good to have a guy line story let’s keep it more of a good story than the last one cause the last one was a bit too intense with the story line.”
– “By the looks of it Ryder is trying to be a friend Ty is acting out because he is embarrassed.”
– “If anyone who says they won’t watch this show any more because of this story line then don’t. No one is making you watch it but for me on the other hand I think it’s great home and away have put this on, Gay and bi kids need to know they aren’t the only ones that feel this way.”
– “Good to finally see you move with sexuality storylines, it’s part of everyday life. We need to have gay characters in the show especially a regular one, unfortunately though this new guy won’t be around for long.”
– “Finally some LGBT+ representation on Australian screens! Kudos to Home and Away for doing this regardless of the backlash. A whole lot of people appreciate what you’re doing.”
– “good story line, being gay is a fact of life these days and young people surely struggle with these feelings amongst many others. I’d rather have a gay son then a dead one if it came to the crunch because he’s being chastised for his feelings…”
– “Can’t believe, in this day and age, after the Yes vote won, there are still so many hateful comments on here.”
– “Live and let live. Don’t like, don’t watch.”
– “It’s about time Home and Away got with the times and had such storylines. Neighbours has been doing it for some time.”
– “Wonderful acting Ty such a newbie so well done congratulations to you both must be difficult for two young men but you did good.”
Not everyone was in support
Some people did stand outraged and say they will never watch the show again and it should have never been made a storyline.
Comments like “that’s disgusting!” and “why air this crap?”.
Another wrote, “I get that gays can’t help being gay, I am pleased that they can now marry, I don’t care what they do behind closed doors, but seeing Ty kiss Ryder made me cringe, Home and Away is not the place to display this unfortunate anomaly!”
Research and real life experiences have found that LGBTI people have an increased risk of depression and anxiety, substance abuse, self-harming and suicidal thoughts.
Beyond Blue shares, Around 10 per cent of young Australians experience same-sex attraction, most realising this around puberty.
They may be more likely to experience bullying at school and/or greater difficulty connecting with others.
In an Australian study, 61 per cent of young non-heterosexual people reported experiencing verbal abuse and 18 per cent reported physical abuse.
Young LGBTI people with a history of verbal, sexual and/or physical victimisation and abuse have higher levels of social and mental health problems than heterosexual young people – including sexual risk-taking, dangerous use of alcohol and drugs, dropping out of school, homelessness, self-harm and attempted suicide.
beyondblue provides information and support to all Australians who may be struggling with anxiety, depression or thoughts of self-harm.
Contact beyondblue on: phone 1300 224 636 (24 hours)
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