A member of The Conners will have boy problems—and it’s not someone you would expect. Entertainment Weekly posted a sneak peek clip of the upcoming episode of the ABC show, titled “A Kiss is Just a Kiss.” In the clip, viewers find that Mark (Ames McNamara) kissed a boy at school and earned himself a trip to the principal’s office.
When Darlene (Sara Gilbert) finds out that her tween son violated his school’s no PDA rule by kissing a boy in his class, she is concerned that there could be more to it. She also wonders if her young son now has a boyfriend.
While Mark says he “guesses” he has a boyfriend, he also admits the kiss was his first.
“He only told me he was gay last week,” Mark says of his suitor, Austin, before revealing that the two became so excited over the addition of personal pizzas in the school cafeteria that they couldn’t hold back.
Little more is revealed about Mark’s first boyfriend, except for the fact that he’s not the “dark brooding one” or “the kid that’s always smelling his hands.”
The Conners fans know that this is not the first time Mark’s sexuality has been addressed on the ABC sitcom. Last season, he had a conversation with his grandfather, Dan (John Goodman), about whether he should sit with Enrique or Joey on the bus for a school field trip because whoever he sits next to “kind of means I like them.”
Mark then asked Dan if he ever liked a boy, and when Dan said no, he assured his grandson that it’s okay that he does.
When the Mark character made his debut on the Roseanne revival last year wearing girls’ clothing, executive producer Sara Gilbert told Entertainment Weekly the 9-year-old child wasn’t transitioning or gay.
“He’s a little boy,” Gilbert said. “He’s based on a few kids in my life that are boys who dress in more traditionally feminine clothing. He’s too young to be gay and he doesn’t identify as transgender, but he just likes wearing that kind of clothing and that’s where he is at this point in his life.”
It now appears that Mark is finding himself and exploring his sexuality as a middle schooler, which will open up many more conversations on the ABC sitcom.
Mark’s boyfriend storyline comes as Mark’s mom Darlene is juggling two boyfriends of her own. Darlene is currently courting her boss, Ben (Jay R. Ferguson), and her ex-husband, David (Johnny Galecki), at the same time.
The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.