On Monday night’s episode of The Fosters, ABC Family made history by showing the youngest ever same-sex kiss on television. The controversial kiss was between two 13-year-old boys played by child actors Hayden Byerly, 14-years-old, and Gavin MacIntosh, 15-years-old. Since the episode has aired, it has received both praise and criticism for showing the same-sex kiss.
The Fosters is a show about a lesbian couple raising two adopted children, two foster children, and a son that one of the woman had from a previous marriage to a man. The show first aired on ABC Family in 2013, and is now in its second season. The show has been highly praised by the LGBT community for showing a gay couple living a life with a family, successful careers, love, and happy children.
During the first season, the show received the GLADD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series, the GLAAD Vanguard Award for producer Jennifer Lopez, and a Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout Television Show.
During the two seasons of The Fosters, Byerly and MacIntosh have played characters Jude and Connor, two young boys who start a friendship at school. The boys faced a huge challenge when Connor’s father finds out that Jude is being raised by gay parents. He tries to keep the boys apart, even inferring that Jude will be automatically gay because of his adopted parents. Jude and Connor can not be kept apart, though, and they continue to grow closer throughout each episode.
During Monday night’s episode, Jude and Connor are alone in Jude’s bedroom when Jude decides to confront Connor about the mixed signals he has been receiving from him. The two boys have both been having feelings towards each other, but seems very confused as how to express them. The boys start to talk and then it happens. Connor and Jude both lean in at the same time to share their first kiss.
As soon as the same-sex kiss happened, social media exploded with controversy over the intimate moment. Fans of the show immediately took to Twitter with hashtags such as #Jonnor and #JonnorKiss to support the young actors. Not everyone was happy about the kiss being shown on television. Twitter posts began to pop up saying things such as the following.
“Basic cable now peddling in gay kiddie porn. ABC Family Airs Youngest-Ever Gay Kiss Between Two 13-Year-Old Boys” @AnnBarhardt
“Nothing about this entire show seems suitable for children: ABC Family’s ‘The Fosters’ Airs Youngest-Ever Gay Kiss” @adamcassandra
GLAAD issued a statement on behalf of the series to The Wrap supporting the kiss.
“For LGBT youth, stories like this are a powerful moment to see themselves represented and recognize they aren’t alone. These characters also foster understanding and acceptance in their peer groups, ultimately creating a safer environment for LGBT youth.”
Fans of the show are now waiting to see what will happen with Jude and Connor now that they have shared this kiss. Will it lead to a relationship? Can the two boys handle the realization that they are gay? There are only a few episodes left before the season finale, but viewers should be pleased to know that the Inquisitr reported The Fosters will be returning for Season 3.
[Photo courtesy of ABC Family]