Regular gay teen characters have been popping up like wild flowers on television lately. Glee, 90210, The United States of Tara, Skins and Shameless are just a few. But most of these shows aren’t exactly being watched by a large black audience.
I recently came across an episode of TBS’ Are We There Yet, executive produced by and sometimes featuring rapper/actor Ice Cube, that features the new character Cedric (played by 23-year-old Maxx Brawer, the son of Tony Award-winning actress Tonya Pinkins, who cameos as Wade’s mother in Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom). The episode, which aired on Jan. 19, introduced Cedric, a high school football player, as a new love interest for the starring family’s teen daughter. His sexuality comes up for debate amongst the mother and father and they set out to discover the truth. Later in the episode Cedric comes out to the father and then the daughter who both accept him as he is without reproach.
When you think about it, this just might be the first time a gay black teenage male has ever been featured on a television show with a predominately black cast. Especially with such a sensitive storyline that’s not demeaning his sexuality, or making him seem like less of a man because he’s gay. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) I must admit I definitely squealed a little when I came across this episode. This is a huge step. Kudos to Ice-Cube and the creators behind Are You There Yet for making such a bold decision and positively representing this character. I definitely hope this isn’t the last time we see Cedric on the show.
You can watch the full episode below: