“911” character Buck comes out as bisexual

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Oliver Stark is standing next to a yellow helicopter
Oliver Stark on '9-1-1' (Photo by Disney/Chris Willard)

A new season of 911, a heart-pounding hourlong drama about the heroic lives of first responders, has gifted the world with a new same-sex couple. Fan favorite characters Buck and Tommy who have long been suspected of having some romantic tension finally had their moment of romantic connection.

And the cherry on top? Sweet actor Oliver Stark, who plays Buck, passionately defended his character’s blossoming bi-identity online.

Nothing’s more romantic on TV than a heartfelt confession at the door of a loved one. That’s exactly what viewers got in the 100th episode of 911. Season seven episode four delivered a lovely moment that also came as a bit of a surprise. A new ship (Gen Z term for relationship) has emerged, but maybe not from the characters they expected. While tiny touches and hints were added to build a romantic element to Buck and Tommy’s relationship, this episode brought those feelings to light.

As @911TVNews validated on Twitter, “Buck’s journey throughout season 7 has been him trying to find himself. You literally watch him learn and unlearn things to become his best self. His coming out as bi is a very natural progression [for the character].”

911 is a show with impossible situations that truly leave your jaw dropped. From blimps flying into packed football stadiums to cruise ships going down amidst a wedding between two main characters, nothing is off-limits on this show. There’s been people drowning in chocolate fountains, tsunamis, and tidal wave — it’s truly insane.

Tommy (Lou Ferrigno Jr.) and Eddie (Ryan Guzman) standing and looking toward their left
‘9-1-1’ Tommy (Lou Ferrigno Jr.) and Eddie (Ryan Guzman). (Photo by Disney/Chris Willard)

Alternatively, the most real thing they may have ever shown is this very honest realization from firefighter Buck that he may be bisexual. That there could be a spark between him and Tommy that’s worth trying to ignite into a flame. And to confidently express that on network TV is just one of the many reasons to watch and support 911.

It’s always reassuring when the actor puts care and respect into playing a bisexual or gay role. Until recently, the status quo used to be that gay people should only be allowed to play gay characters, but with the fluidity of sexuality and people’s right to privacy, I don’t think it’s our right to know people’s sexualities. Nobody, not even celebrities, owes an explanation to audiences on how they personally identify. Whether or not they can personally relate to the queer joy or sorrow experienced by their characters isn’t exclusive to having a lived experience, I believe with respect and study you can give an authentic performance. What truly matters is the actor’s understanding of the character, LGBTQ culture, and how they navigate the role in the real world.

Fortunately, we have a great ally and actor in Oliver Stark. In a powerful statement to some haters who were “blindsided” by the show’s new blossoming couple, he posted:

“Humbled and overwhelmed by the positive reaction to Buck’s storyline I’ve read so many of your messages and I couldn’t be prouder. if you are one of the smaller group of people commenting on my post about how this is ruining the show. I would like you to know that I truly don’t care. this is a show about love and inclusion. It’s featured queer relationships from the very beginning including a beautiful black lesbian marriage played out by two of the best actresses I’ve ever watched. if one other character finds a new facet to his sexuality and realizes his bisexuality is your deal-breaker I fear you’ve missed the entire point of the show you are not required to announce your departure.”

The show’s top-billing star, Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett, recently spoke on a red carpet about how excited she was for Buck and Tommy. It’s great to see her support for queer stories on the show, of which she’s been in with Stark since season 1.

Tommy (Lou Ferrigno Jr.) is sitting at a table and smiling
‘9-1-1’ Tommy (Lou Ferrigno Jr.) (Photo by Disney)

And every word of that is right! Love and inclusion are the foundation of the show, it’s all about how people can work together to make the world better. We’ve seen this in the aforementioned same-sex couple played by Aisha Hinds and Tracie Thoms. Touching on the very real experience people face of learning new facets of their sexuality in their 20s or onwards is nothing to be ashamed of. Buck’s storyline may inspire others to question their own interests and awaken something deeply buried but deserving to emerge.

What a way to celebrate the show’s 100th episode! Shoutout the the writers, cast, and crew of 911 for helping bring a new same-sex relationship to life on American living rooms. Or let’s be honest, you’re streaming it on Disney+ with Hulu on an overheating laptop in bed. Enjoy!