I don't know how else to read the not-so-coded comments about Mark Indelicato in USA Today. It says he "dishes" about fame, simply loves fashion and quotes a co-star saying that Mark IS the character he plays. They also call him a shopaholic and say they went with him on "a recent outing" to a mall.
Frankly, any honest portrait of this talented kid would inevitably raise these comparisons, I think. Mark loves Queen Latifah...because she has an endorsement deal with Cover Girl. He uses skin care products, rattles off fashion names and on and on.
Best of all, the show's creator finally tacitly acknowledges that Mark's character is gay by saying the kid is based on him (the creator, Silvio Horta, is gay) and says the character will experience "the journey" as he gets older.
UPDATE: My case was even stronger when I read the hardcopy edition of USA Today. The A-1 front page major feature? On how kids are coming out younger and younger. It's a good story, marred only by their need to quote the bigots at Family Research Council for "balance."