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Out in TV Land: Queer Youth Characters on the Small Screen

A Sampling of Fictional LGBT High Schoolers, Past and Present

June 28, 2013


Marco Del Rossi

Marco Del Rossi, Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001-Present)

When Canadian teen soap Degrassi was rebooted in the early 2000s, they were quick to include a staple gay character in the mix -- Marco Del Rossi. Marco (played by Adamo Ruggiero) is a smart and talented high school student, and Ellie, one of the series' main characters, develops a crush on him. Confused about his own sexuality, Marco agrees to go on a date with her. When finally confronted with kissing her at a party, he comes out to her as gay. Ellie promises to be his girlfriend for as long as he needs until he is ready to come out to his friends. After coming out, he faces bullying from one of his best friends, Spinner, who defaces a bathroom wall with a derogatory slur about Marco.

Marco begins dating Dylan, his friend Paige's older brother, in season 3. When Marco comes out to his mother, she agrees to help hide his sexuality from his disapproving father. Marco also deals with gay bashing, infidelity, but is also named class valedictorian at graduation. As Degrassi is a soap, Marco's plotlines become more and more absurd, including him almost having sex with Ellie again in college. Marco later comes back as a student teacher at Degrassi High.

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