Home and Away: Gay in the Bay
The long-running Aussie soap has introduced its first LGBT character in 9 years.
Home and Away newcomer Darius Williams joined the cast back in May, as the moody and defensive Ty.
Taken in by Summer Bay’s favourite foster parents, John and Marilyn, Ty soon began to let his guard down and settle in. Making friends with resident teen jokers Raffy and Ryder, he started to open up about his past.
Ty and Raffy, living together in close quarters, struck up a romantic relationship. But Ty’s heart wasn’t really in it, preferring to spend his time with Ryder and avoid intimacy with Raffy.
It soon became obvious that Ty was struggling with his sexuality, after making a move to kiss Ryder and then losing his temper shortly after. Ryder was supportive but Ty, spooked by the exposure, shut down emotionally and fled the Bay.
At this stage, Williams’ has only signed on for a six week guest role. So it’s unclear whether Ty will continue as a regular character.
Ty’s story is the first LGBT-themed Home and Away narrative in almost a decade.
Back in 2009, the soap attracted negative attention from conservative activist groups, when a lesbian storyline went to air. Producers were forced to cut scenes as a result.
This development marks the show's first resurgence of the sort, coming soon after the gay marriage legislation in Australia. It's been met with positive reactions from the public so far.
“Our writers do try to keep abreast with the times,” says long-standing cast member Ray Meagher. “And it’s the right time for us to be telling this story.”
Home and Away continues Monday-Thursday at 5.30pm on TVNZ 2. Stream the latest episodes right here.