Season 9In Beat It (1), Riley is taking a lifeguard course for a summer job. He is still confused about his homosexuality and parades Fiona Coyne around to "prove" that he is straight. In the beginning of the episode, Riley becomes sexually aroused while watching Sam (his lifeguard instructor) perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation techniques on a practice dummy, in the pool area. He doesn't realize this until another student notices, and begins to make fun of Riley - who quickly jumps into the water to avoid further embarrassment. Later in the episode, he feels pressured by his friends to have sex with Fiona, but when he tries to, she tells him that she knows he is gay, but wants to help. This infuriates Riley and he kicks her out of his room, effectively ending their relationship. When he learns that Sam is openly gay, he begins to show interest on him, but at the fair he decides to go for Chantay Black instead. However, Riley blows it with Chantay, and goes inside the school, where Sam tries to talk with him about being gay. Riley gets angry and punches him - all in front of Larissa, the president of the Degrassi LGBT Club.
In Beat It (2), Riley is called to Daphne Hatzilakos' office about the fight with Sam, where he claims that nothing happened and that there was no proof. Regardless, he is still instructed by Ms. Hatzilakos to spend the rest of the day at home, in addition to writing a thousand word essay on non-violent conflict resolutions. On his way out, Larissa offers him counseling sessions for homophobia, but he refuses. At the lifeguard exam, he thanks Sam for not following up with hate crime charges, but becomes distressed when Sam tells him that he had Riley removed from the lifeguard training course due to his temper. When trying to write his essay, Riley loses his temper again, tearing down posters and knocking over trophies, before trying to find a cure for homosexuality on the Internet. Later, Riley and Peter are at a bar, playing pool. Sam arrives with another guy, and when Riley spots him, he escapes to the bathroom, trying to avoid Sam. Sam enters the bathroom and they get into a fight, ending up with Riley coming out to him. He convinces Riley to tell someone, and the next day, Riley comes out to Peter.