The episode, which aired on Friday 5 July ahead of Pride Day in London, was at various points celebratory, hopeful, diverse and educational, but also included moments that reminded viewers of the prejudice still faced by the LGBT+ community.
In one scene, Ben Mitchell made a moving speech to Callum, who is struggling with his sexuality amid pressure from his homophobic older brother.
In another, characters prepared for the first ever EastEnders Pride march, came out to their friends, or else tried to come to terms with their identity.
Drag artist Crystal Rasmussen, author of the book Diary of a Drag Queen, made a special guest appearance and told Metro: “This is an exciting thing for EastEnders to be doing. I said yes to doing it instantly as I grew up watching EastEnders. My mum is amazing but no matter what I have done in my life, nothing has made her quite so excited as me being in EastEnders!”
Viewers thought the episode was both moving and important, with one audience member tweeting: “EastEnders' pride episode is so beautiful and moving. Makes me so proud to be a member of the LGBT community! Amazing job by the team.”
“How amazing is EastEnders for this storyline,” another wrote. “Introducing homophobia and how to deal with it, coming to terms with being who you are and having a full episode dedicated to Gay Pride .... AMAZING.”
“It was beautiful, heartbreaking, amazing - it was EVERYTHING!” another fan agreed
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