CBBC airs groundbreaking gay coming out scene days after backlash from teen lesbian kiss

CBBC has aired a groundbreaking gay coming out scene just days after a teen lesbian kiss sparked more than 100 complaints.

In an episode of Mystic on the children's channel, the character Caleb Burford – played by Joshua Tan – comes out as gay to his friend Issie Brown (Macey Chipping).

The pals are shown having a heart-to-heart on the beach, as Londoner Issie confesses she feels like an outsider having moved to the show's quiet New Zealand town.

"I've been thinking about what you said earlier, about trusting us and you know, feeling like an outsider and stuff. I do feel like that sometimes," Caleb admits.

Issie adds: "You don't need to say that just to make me feel better."

But Calebs insists: "I'm not."

Issie continues: "Oh come on, this is your home, your friends. I'm just the weird girl that everyone thinks is a liar."

Then Caleb tells her: "I'm weird too… I'm gay I think. No, I know I am."

Responding to his revelation, Issie replied: "Thank you for telling me. It must have been really hard."

When Caleb asks Issie to keep it a secret, she adds: "I know this is a big deal… like huge. But honestly Caleb, no-one will even care.

"Being gay is… it's like one little piece of who you are. A good piece. You know that, right?"

One viewer wrote on Twitter: "a character just came out as gay on mystic, a kids television series! @cbbc are paving the way for normalised LGBT representation on a kids channel".

They added: "cbbc getting over 100 complaints over two girls kissing then airing a coming out scene in mystic days later… i love it".

The BBC were bombarded with more than 100 viewer complaints after a same-sex kiss scene in The Next Step.

The romantic lesbian scene between actresses Molly Saunders, 18, and Dani Verayo, 19, aired on July 22.

Molly's character Jude was seen pulling Cleo close as they enjoyed a smooch in the studio.

And the BBC confirmed in a statement online: "We have received complaints about a storyline involving a same-sex kiss."

The BBC statement added: "The decision to include this moment, as part of a longer storyline throughout series 7 which has been tracking the development of a romantic relationship between two of the characters, Jude and Cleo, was taken very carefully and with much consideration and came about after CBBC and Boatrocker (the production company who make the show) acknowledged that the series could and should do more to reflect the lives of LGBTQ+ young people.

"This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be."

"We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo’s developing relationship and I’m afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age.

"CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing, and it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like."

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