Neighbours reboot introduces new queer family to reflect the ‘beautiful LGBTQIA+ community’

Neighbours introduces new queer family.

Neighbours has revealed a brand new LGBTQ+ family will be moving into Ramsey Street when the show returns in September.

New cast members added to the much-loved soap include the Varga-Murphy family. The family of four is made up of mums Cara (Sara West) and Dr Remi (Naomi Rukavina) and their sons JJ (Riley Bryant) and Dex (Marley Williams).

The reboot will see also returning favourites such as queer couple Chloe and Elly.

West and Rukavina introduced themselves as lesbian couple Cara and Remi in a short video posted to the official Neighbours Instagram account.

“We, along with our screen sons, are very excited to be joining the new Neighbours and to let you know that we will be on screen this September,” Rukavina said.

Australian actor West also shared the post to her Instagram story with the caption: “We’re taking over” alongside a rainbow and heart emoji.

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In an official statement, both actors shared the importance of LGBTQ+ visibility in the media, and how Neighbours is doing its part to increase representation.

“Cara has a bold, impassioned love for her family and I love that her intentions have, so far, always been good. I hope having the Varga-Murphys on telly will help better reflect the beautiful LGBTQIA+ community that I’m proud to be a part of and I can’t wait to share the family with you,” West said.

Rukavina added: “As a stalwart of Australian drama television, the show is on the front foot of showcasing diverse and real representations of Australian families, not in a tokenistic way.”

Fellow cast members including Georgie Stone, April Rose Pengilly, Charlotte Chimes and Rebekah Elmaloglou shared their excitement at the casting, posting clapping emojis in the comments, while fans also shared their thoughts.

“Yesss! Thank you for bringing in more LGBTQIA+ representation!” one fan wrote.

“Wooow this is so cool another LGBT couple coming to Ramsay Street, look forward to seeing you on our screens in September,” another wrote.

Neighbours has a loud and proud LGBTQ+ legacy. Since airing Australian TV’s first ever same-sex wedding in 2018, the show has celebrated a lesbian wedding, cast its first trans character, Mackenzie Hargreaves (Georgie Stone), and introduced countless queer characters including fan-favourite couple Chloe (April Rose Pengilly) and Elly (Jodi Gordon).

In 2022, Neighbours almost disappeared from screens for good after Channel 5 ended their contract and aired a grand finale featuring acclaimed Neighbours alumni such as Kylie Minogue and Margot Robbie.

Luckily, LGBTQ+ fans didn’t have to mourn for long as the series, now in its 37th year, was snapped up by Amazon Freevee and will return in September 2023.

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