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Hallmark's New Show Has A Gay Cowboy. Why Are We Just Hearing About It?

Hallmark's New Show Has A Gay Cowboy. Why Are We Just Hearing About It?

jake foy in ride
Courtesy of Hallmark

Out actor Jake Foy stars in the cowboy drama Ride.

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Hallmark is making queer representation history with its new series, Ride.

Yes, the network has become increasingly inclusive in its films. However, this marks the first time Hallmark Channel has featured an out queer character as co-lead in one of its shows.

The character in question is Tuff McMuray, played by out actor Jake Foy. The series is a “multigenerational family ensemble following the lives of the McMurrays, part of a rodeo dynasty going back a generation, as they struggle to keep their beloved ranch afloat. After a tragic loss, each character embarks on an empowering journey of transformation and self-discovery while also uncovering a twisted web of secrets, threatening to tear the family and their small Colorado town apart at the seams,” according to the official synopsis.

Caught up in that web of secrets is Tuff, although his big secret isn’t his sexuality. He’s out to everyone in his life and he’s accepted by those around him. That’s not all: When he’s introduced in the first episode, the audience learns there’s more to him than simply being defined by his sexual identity; he works hard around the ranch and is a talented singer. In other words, he’s human with passions, experiences, and an identity beyond simply a coming out story — or a gay tragedy in the making.

You would think that considering how boundary-pushing the character is it would be worthy of a big marketing push. And yet, this is the first we’ve heard of Tuff. The question is: Why?

Hallmark has worked hard to differentiate itself from the backward — sorry, faith-based — direction that Great American Family Channel has embarked on. Many of Hallmark’s stars have spoken out in support of the LGBTQ+ community and the inclusivity of Hallmark.

So, while it’s incredibly exciting that Tuff exists and it makes us want to root for Ride, the lack of full-throated celebration and promotion of the character has us raising an eyebrow.

For those who want to catch up on Foy’s dreamy performance as Tuff, Ride is airing now on Hallmark Channel.

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.