Prior to joining the cast of “Chicago Fire,” Daniel Kyri, who identifies as queer, co-created “The T,” a web series exploring the dynamics of a relationship between a transgender woman, portrayed by co-creator Bea Cordelia, and a queer Black man, portrayed by Kyri. “Because my web series felt like a kind of coming out,” Kyri said, commenting on how he felt after learning about the “Chicago Fire” writers’ plans for Ritter, “this historic moment in the context of the ‘One Chicago’ world, for this Black, male character to come out as gay in this blue-collar, first-responder world, I wanted to do it justice.”
Kyri positively characterized the moment in which Ritter reveals his sexual orientation as a “non-event.” Rather than treat the moment as some sort of dramatic reveal, Ritter, rather, simply responds to his lieutenant asking if he has a girlfriend by responding that he instead has a boyfriend.
“Moving those narratives — of the queer person, the Black person, the Asian person, the femme character — from the margins, from the sidelines, and making them the center of the narrative is so very important,” Kyri told NBC News. “It gives anyone watching — no matter what age, no matter what background — an opportunity to see a possibility for themselves, a possibility for how they might move through the world.”
“Chicago Fire” Season 10 premiered on September 22 and airs weekly on NBC.