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Hallmark’s cowboy drama just had its first gay kiss—meet the hunky actor bringing the heat to ‘Ride’

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Ride, featured a prominent gay character played by out actor Jake Foy.Yes, that’s right, the Hallmark Channel—former home of Candace Cameron Bure—has come a long way.In telling the story of the McMurrays, a prominent Colorado ranch family, Ride‘s approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion has been refreshingly matter-of-fact.

Foy plays the youngest of the bunch, Tuff, a gay man who lives his life out and proud, accepted both by his family and the rodeo-obsessed community around him.And when Tuff starts bringing a new male love interest around, nobody bats an eye—well, except for his over-protective relatives who just want the best for the baby of the family.That love interest is a local named Julian, played by charming breakthrough actor Vasilios Filippakis, and the two cowboys have only gotten closer with each passing episode.Don’t tell Candace Cameron Bure, but The Hallmark Channel keeps getting gayer.In fact, in this week’s most recent episode, “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” Tuff and Julian finally share their first kiss!

It’s a pretty remarkable moment for Hallmark, a network that up until recently was mostly known for extremely hetero holiday movies.To mark this very special episode, we chatted up Filippakis about the significance of the kiss, and he was also kind enough to share some exclusive pics from his recent shoot with photographer Trevor Paul.So, scroll below for Filippakis’ hot takes and some fire photos:After weeks of build-up, we finally get to see Julian and Tuff kiss!

This is still a pretty big deal for the Hallmark Channel, but why does the kiss feel important to you?The thing I love the most about Tuff and Julian is that their story and connection is really grounded in the world Ride has created.

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