Ian Gallagher

Ian Gallagher

Photo Credit: CBS Press

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… with his five siblings in the south side of Chicago in Canaryville. Ian loves his siblings, but dreams of the day he can leave Canaryville and head to West Point.

Profession… high school student and convenience store clerk. Ian is a member of JROTC at his high school, an extracurricular that he hopes will hope push him into West Point.

Interests... exploring his sexuality and trying to stay out of trouble. Ian is the most level-headed of the Gallaghers, but that’s not saying much. As a closeted gay man, Ian has to explore his budding sexuality in secret – something that’s easier said than done, and a consistent source of Ian’s problems. 

Relationship Status... in an affair with his married boss, Kash. Kash owns the convenience store where Ian works, but as the husband of a devout Muslim woman, he’s terrified that their affair may come to light. Ian is putting mounting pressure on Kash to come out to his wife, which has started to put a strain on their young, secret relationship. 

Challenge… finding peace and his place in the world. While he’s extremely close to Lip, Ian is not particularly close to his other siblings, and feels out of place in the Gallagher household. His sense of displacement is further exacerbated by his secret homosexuality, which he believes would cause quite a scandal in their poor, ill-educated, no-collar area. Ian hopes that the army will offer him the clarity he needs to find out who he really is – although his brother Lip questions why a gay man would want to join such a seemingly hostile institution.

Personality… responsible, at least for a Gallagher. For all the drama in his life, Ian is the most well-adjusted and goal-oriented Gallagher child. Still, he has a mischievous side, committing small crimes and enlisting his brother Lip as accomplice. He’s more of a lone-wolf than his other siblings, and he tries to keep a measure of distance between himself and the lives of the younger Gallaghers.


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