COMING out of the closet is no easy feat, particularly when faced with mockery from your peers.
Yet when Marshall is seen in Emmerdale again, Arthur Thomas gets a huge surprise.
The lad played by Alfie Clarke has been the target of homophobic pranks and bullying since he first came out.
Viewers will remember that Arthur made his coming out to Nicola King in heart-warming scenes aired before Christmas.
His crush-turned-bully Marshall (Max Fletcher) took things up to the next level when he pretended to have reciprocated feelings for Arthur and revealed it was all a bet.
But Marshall has a change of heart in upcoming scenes of the Yorkshire-based drama and stands up for Arthur to another bully in front of Nicola Wheeler and April Windsor.
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Arthur is stunned as he realises Marshall really is on his side and the two boys share a subtle moment.
The following day, Arthur's mother Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) makes a call to the school when he tells her his LGBTQ+ History assembly was cancelled.
Laurel thus finds out that one parent complained about Arthur taking on such a project and, after an insensitive comment from Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson), the teen is convinced he was the one that called to cancel the event.
Hurt and bewildered, Arthur feels as though Jai is encouraging him to suppress his sexuality and the businessman is pained.
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Arthur can surprisingly count on Marshall's support as the latter comes to check on him once the assembly is cancelled.
Frustrated, Arthur admits he feels like nobody is being upfront with him and warns Marshall that he's not being honest with him, he'll need to leave him alone.
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Marshall's cool boy bravado is stripped away and the pair almost share a kiss.
Unfortunately, the moment is cut short when Marshall's father calls him and he panics, rushing off.
The following day, an upset Laurel tells Arthur his presentation will be allowed but only when some parents have withdrawn their children from the assembly.
How will she support him?
Could Marshall be lying to Arthur?
Emmerdale airs weeknights, Monday to Friday, from 7.30pm on ITV.
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