How Degrassi Has Told LGBTQ Stories Throughout The Years

When Degrassi: The Next Generation premiered in 2001, it promised teenagers one thing: This was a show that would accurately depict their high school experience, with all of its trials and tribulations.

Degrassi: The Next Generation
(later known simply as Degrassi) a successor of Canadian dramas Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, tackled the tough stuff — teen pregnancy, eating disorders, school violence received multiple episodes throughout the series — but what it did best was give a voice to characters most shows don't allow viewers to get to know intimately.

Degrassi
followed LGBTQ characters through their own journeys, always treating characters like people as opposed to storytelling devices. Queer characters didn't exist simply to educate their (straight) peers about the LGBTQ community. In getting to know these characters, fans bore witness to the unique struggles of queer youth: Characters faced unsupportive families, anti-queer violence, and internal battles with confronting their sexuality, amongst other issues.

Now in a new iteration — Netflix's Degrassi Next Class — the TV franchise continues to tell LGBTQ stories, with more specificity than ever before. Click through to read about how the franchise has tackled these issues over the years.

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