20 moments that prove Ugly Betty was ahead of its time

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Justin’s friend Randy

High school can be so hard, especially for anyone who’s different from the crowd. Justin Suarez never fit in, because he was a flamboyant, fashion-loving young boy who loved musical theatre and had dreams of being on stage. He makes an unlikely friend in one of his bullies, Randy, after Justin sees him at an audition for Billy Elliot.

The two are bonded by the awful audition, and start hanging out more thanks to their common love of theatre. They attend a school production of Little Shop of Horrors together, but when Randy runs into his friends, he’s embarrassed to be seen with Justin. Hilda surprises Justin with tickets to In The Heights on Broadway for him and his new friend, and he’s so excited to share the good news.

As you can expect, it doesn’t go well. Justin approaches Randy when he’s with his friends, and Randy’s embarrassed and has to keep up his reputation, so he blows Justin off in the cruelest way possible. He shouts at Justin, “Dude, stop following me around, it’s pathetic! Get a life!”

Yet again, Hilda had the perfect speech prepared for her sad son. She loved him no matter what, and didn’t want him to bother with people who didn’t accept him.

"That’s their problem, because you are perfect. But you’re going to meet a lot of stupid people in your life, and they’re just not going to get you. Screw ’em. All that matters is that you never, for a second, change who you are."

We don’t know if Randy is gay, struggling with his sexuality, or just scared of being seen as gay by hanging out with Justin and embracing his love of theatre, but this is the struggle of so many young people in high school. This storyline is probably one that so many people faced back in their youth, whether they were gay or just scared of being seen as gay, or those who lost good friends along the way because of those fears.