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A permanent gay character will be arriving on Australia’s most famous street in the coming months, as a 20-year-old boy on Ramsay St struggles to come to terms with his sexuality in the hit soap Neighbours, a first for the worldwide watched show.
Australian TV is much more guarded when coming to terms with sexuality and other pressing issues on its mainstream prime time soaps with Neighbours previously hinting at gay characters in the past but not taking on the plot permanently. In the past they have been under scrutiny for their stories surrounding teen pregnancy and surrogacy.
Character Chris Pappas, played by James Mason, 20, who is relatively new to the show, will come out and go through the journey of coming to terms with his sexuality in some dramatic scenes that have already been aired Down Under.
Rival Australian soap Home & Away recently featured a lesbian storyline on, but executive producer Susan Bower that a gay storyline between two men was still taboo on Australian dramas but she has just responded the request of the viewers. Fans of the show reportedly took to the forums and asked producers to introduce a gay character to the town of Erinsborough.
Speaking to The Herald Sun, Bower said: “I do believe homophobia is still alive and well, and I have no doubt that we will get complaints about it, Neighbours is an icon, like Vegemite. People get very possessive about it."
The new gay storyline will be the first time in the show's 25-year history that it will feature an ongoing regular gay character. In Australia next week the show will be celebrating their 6000th episode and 25 years on air with a week full of dramatic episodes.
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