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Everything Sucks Stars Discuss Kate's Coming Out Story

Peyton Kennedy says there's still a ways to go to total acceptance

Tim Surette

[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the entire first season of Everything Sucks!]

Netflix's Everything Sucks! is getting talked about for its oh-so-radical representation of the mid-1990s (Spin Doctors, bro!), but at the heart of the high school series are timeless tales of coming of age that any generation could relate to.

The greatest of those involves high school sophomore Kate (Peyton Kennedy), a Bambi-on-ice type of lanky teenage girl who already has difficulty being the principal's daughter, but more interestingly is coming to terms with her sexuality. As the season progresses, a beautiful coming-out story unfolds, showing the ups and downs of adjusting to one's own skin, and it's one that is relevant now and forever. Kennedy knows that playing Kate will make her a role model to many teens who are going through the same thing Kate did, and she's honored to be part of it.

"I think her coming-out story is a beautiful story, and it was a beautiful story that I was able to tell," Kennedy told TV Guide. "And I think that [way] because so many people are able to relate to it and it's still something that's going on now. And there's still more acceptance that we can accomplish, it was really important for me to be able to tell that story."

Netflix's Everything Sucks! Offers an Endearing Look at '90s Adolescence

Over the course of the first season, Kate's feelings for drama club member Emaline (Sydney Sweeney) become harder for her to ignore -- particularly when Emaline goes from picking on Kate to seemingly returning her affections. "Emaline was mean to Kate because she was jealous of Kate because Emaline isn't confident. She's very insecure and she always feels like she always has to be something for everybody else where Kate is just her... I think it's a beautiful thing to see two people bond that are the complete opposite," Sweeney explained. "Kate teaches Emaline what love is."

But while Kate and Emaline were able to embrace their sexuality, the road to total acceptance and equality is one we're still trying to pave, and Kennedy knows it's not going to be easy to get there. "I think it's more accepted now, you know, coming out, but there's still stigma around it and then there are still people saying it's a trend or people are faking it, or it's just a phase, which is a terrible thing," she said. "It's not the exact same thing as not acceptance as it was back then, it's still -- we can still improve."

Couple that with everything else teens are dealing with, and you can see why Kate's story, as well as all the kids in Everything Sucks!, can be seen as something we can all relate to. And that goes beyond just kids today or kids in the '90s.

"I think growing up in general is hard," said Sweeney.

"I think that's what our show is about, is that it's hard to grow up, that's why everything sucks," added Kennedy.

Everything Sucks! is now available on Netflix.

Peyton Kennedy, Everything Sucks!

Peyton Kennedy, Everything Sucks!

Scott Patrick Green/Netflix