NBC’s daytime drama Days of Our Lives was a little late to the gay-character party, only introducing out teen Will Horton (Chandler Massey) in 2009. But next Wednesday, the show takes a bold step by addressing the bullying epidemic faced by LGBT youth nationwide.

In the August 22 episode, another gay character, Sonny (played by Freddie Smith, right) will be attacked by a supposed friend afraid Sonny’s trying to “turn” him gay.

Smith, who joined Days a year-and-a-half ago, tells Windy City Times the storyline is “intense”: “We’re showing both sides of it. We’ll see where Sonny is coming from, and where the bully is coming from. It’ll be great to see people grow and mature.”

With the proliferation of articles, books and films addressing bullying, a storyline on a soap opera might seem like small potatoes. But, despite the genre’s flagging popularity, soaps still reach millions of people in their homes day after day, and can have a surprisingly profound affect on viewer’s worldview.

After all, Joe Biden infamously said a sitcom, Will & Grace, helped change his mind on gay marriage. And Will & Grace didn’t even have the divineDeidre Hall.


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