America’s Youngest Gay Kiss

milkboys Clips & Spots, Television 66 Comments

Straight teens have watched their television counterparts smooch on-screen for years, but The Fosters made entertainment history by showing the youngest same-sex kiss ever on US television.

Teenage love—it’s hormonal, complicated, and makes for great television. On Monday night The Fosters featured a kiss between 13-year-olds Jude and Connor. So what’s the big deal? The boys’ lip-to-lip contact is apparently the youngest same-sex kiss on US television; 13-year-olds getting it on was something you’d only find in European films–until now.

Jude and Connor’s BFF-level friendship has been building over the past two seasons. Connor was introduced to the show when he hesitated to fend off bullies who were picking on Jude for wearing nail polish—only to end up painting his nails in solidarity with Jude, which made for a delightfully heartwarming television moment.

It’s inspiring to see that young characters on television are matching reality. On The Fosters, Jude’s journey of self-discovery regarding his sexuality has been an ongoing plotline. It became apparent that Jude had some sort of feelings for Connor early on, and more recently the chemistry had been bubbling, with subtle flirtation emanating from both sides. In the episode “The Silence She Keeps,” Connor adorably goes to link pinkies with Jude in the darkness of a movie theater, and there have been scenes where they hold their gaze long just enough to imply their true feelings, screaming on the inside.

So on Monday’s episode “Now Hear This,” Jude has that momentous “define the relationship” conversation with Connor to see exactly where they stand, and what all this tomfoolery really means. He brings up the time they’d previously kissed on a school camping trip while sharing a tent (the smooch had been off-screen and kept a secret masked as “something that was wrong”) along with the pinky-holding, and demands answers. Then Connor kisses him and… cue the fireworks.

The kiss between Jude and Connor isn’t a first in the world of American television teenagers. When endgame Blaine and Kurt kissed for the first time on Glee, it wasn’t even the first time the show displayed some same-sex lip-locking. And Teen Wolf has featured some steamy same-sex scenes between the students at Beacon Hills High School.

But Jude and Connor are in the 7th grade (their actors are 14 and 15 respectively), a good few years younger than their Glee and Teen Wolf counterparts. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of LGBT Americans, 12 is the median age at which members of the community first felt they might not be straight, and gay men reported that at around age 10 they first thought that they might be gay. It’s inspiring to see that young characters on television are matching reality. Jude and Connor’s nervousness—capturing the nuances of a young friendship—turning to something more is teen naturalism at its finest, and in some ways more so than the passionate sex scenes that LGBTQ characters are chalking up in pop culture nowadays.

The Fosters is already lauded as one of the most progressive shows on TV, with the heads of household being an interracial lesbian couple raising a family of biological, foster, and adopted kin. With the kiss on The Fosters setting a fantastic standard, we’re inching toward more accurate representation of LGBTQ youth in entertainment. It reassures all the real-life Judes and Connors out there that their feelings of self-discovery during those middle school and junior high years are valid, while also providing a heartrending example for those who don’t endure this to understand and learn from.

Via The Daily Beast

Comments 66

  1. First of all:

    That was just cute…loved it!

    Even though everybody was anticipating it, you just feared it still might not happen, but they solved it plain beautifully!

    I liked especially how both were unsure and confused and how the actors performed this.

    After watching the show from episode 1 i can say that they made this sexual self discovery storyline really good and realistic and i liked it that they took their time telling this story really carefully.

    Second

    to Penboy:

    Told ya! ;)

    1. “Second to Penboy: Told ya! ;)”

      @MR:
      Yes, you did and I definitely concede. :-) This is one time I am extemely happy to be wrong — it’s about time they showed not just “adult” males kissing (which they already do) but young teens as well and I mean down to age 12 [with more kisses to come soon] .

      This quote is great:

      With the kiss on The Fosters setting a fantastic standard, we’re inching toward more accurate representation of LGBTQ youth in entertainment [hopefully!!]. It reassures all the real-life Judes and Connors out there that their feelings of self-discovery during those middle school and junior high years are valid, while also providing a heartrending example for those who don’t endure this to understand and learn from.”

  2. I really appreciate the clips about how this is developing. I’m not interested in watching the show but this is the future! Forget flying cars – reality based same-sex relationships on TV! Love it.

    1. FYI

      both actors made clear that they are actually straight …

      and yes that makes the acting especially good …

        1. Yea! But:

          1. Most of them are adults

          2. Never this young before

          3. “Most of the “Gay for Pay” characters are just full off stupid stereotypes and cliches – They are rarely realistic

      1. @MR:
        “FYI … both actors made clear that they are actually straight … and yes that makes the acting especially good …”

        What young actors would admit that they actually might be (or are) gay (assuming that they have been councelled that admitting anything even close would be a potential career killer)?

        But, I could easily believe that Gavin MacIntosh (Connor) could be/is straight because of his acting. But, Hayden Byerly’s (Jude’s) acting is so damn natural and believable (of progressing to being truly gay) by just watching his face and those eyes of his! At 14, he’s showing just how natural it is for one to be either curious, unsure, confused or knowing for sure he’s gay.

  3. D’awww, so sweet. These two handsome actors did a nice job of portraying personal moments that presumably they’ve never experienced, nor is it their desire.

    “Okay, I give up…” That line is very familiar to me and I know I uttered it more than once in the same wrestle-down situations when I was that age. Yes, a couple of my buddies and I did some stuff together… but we never kissed! Sadly, it was part of the unwritten rules of engagement at that age that you just didn’t kiss… Something that I ached to do.

    1. Mike:
      ” ‘Okay, I give up…’ That line is very familiar to me and I know I uttered it more than once in the same wrestle-down situations when I was that age.”

      I did several of the same “wrestle-down situations” like in the video and there may have been a couple of times I said it, but more often, I was on top as I was usually the “agressor” in pursuing some sort of “playing around”. “Wrestling” was one of the most “natural” ways to get “the look” from either and to start a little sex play.

      1. Ok funfact:

        In this very episode a 16 year old boy and girl had (implied, but not fully shown) actual sex.

        Nobody talks about that ;)

      2. Oh even i forgot:

        There was also a kiss between a 13 year old boy AND a 13 year old girl in this very episode….

        Strange that nobody talks about that, isn´t it? ;)

        Yea straight kisses are boring ^^

  4. It’s kind of stilted and is barely a peck. Cute but has not got the emotional intensity of Du er ikke Alene ( which was filmed way back in the 70s ) or Nordzee Texas. The last scene of DEIA has to be one of my all time favorite cinematic moments.

    1. @ :
      “It’s kind of stilted and is barely a peck.”

      I have to agree with your intent — I felt the same way (but more of incomplete direction/using the wrong take to be seen). It was a 4-second lip touch, so it was better than a “peck” but I agree with everything else. So why are the religious and right-wing so upset about? Honestly, I’ve seen more “passionate” kisses between a father and son (really, I have).

      “Cute but has not got the emotional intensity of Du er ikke Alene ( which was filmed way back in the 70s ) or Nordzee Texas.”

      This, definitely.

  5. Started watching this show after the movie scene was displayed here a week or so again. Since then have watched every episode and I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed it. ABC Family isn’t one of my go to channels for possible content, so I wasn’t expecting much. The writing has been great, the acting superb (for the most part), and the emotional content tear-inducing. Of course, I’m most interested the Jude/Connor storyline, and I really enjoy how it’s progressing. The other thing not being mentioned here is that earlier there was a controversy about a camping trip which resulted in Connor’s father becoming very upset because the boys spent the night together in a tent. We were told later, in a bit of a teasing cliffhanger, that the boys invited 2 girls to the tent and they all made out. We learn in this episode that it wasn’t true. Well, ok, maybe the girls were there, maybe they weren’t, but we’re informed the boys kissed (and subsequently lied about it), which shines a whole new light on the situation. Overall, love the show and the direction it’s headed via Jude/Connor. Oh, and despite protests, betting Hayden turns out to be gay.

  6. Finding it interesting that the people writing articles about this episode apparently have never seen the show. One person writes that the Jude/Connor storyline has been evolving for three seasons. Show is only in it’s second season. Another writes “Two young boys kissed on the show. One boy knows that he is gay and the other one is confused about his sexuality.” Having just watched the entirety of the series in the last week or so, I have to ask, which is which? Which boy knows he’s gay? ‘Cuz I don’t believe anyone can answer that question.

    Of course, that’s not my favorite part. My fav part is the people who toss around the term kiddy porn. A number of factors go into determining whether something is pornographic. I’m pretty sure age isn’t one of them. If you replace the actors with two 30 year olds and you don’t pass the pornography litmus test, then changing the age of the actors is meaningless. Morons.

    1. @Wolfboi:
      “One boy knows that he is gay and the other one is confused about his sexuality.” Having just watched the entirety of the series in the last week or so, I have to ask, which is which? Which boy knows he’s gay?

      I invite you to watch the link that MR posted earlier and I’ll repeat (I also found this link while “digging deeper”):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqOkOzI1rXE&list=PL6THzna6gLcc4YmpiuTLiYcDzwq5eUXs2&index=1

      I think you’ll find the answer shortly after this begins.

      1. While that conversation does indicate where the creators of the show want it to go, without this specific information it is, at this point in the story, pretty much anyone’s guess, so without the outside information, you can’t really be sure.

        1. @:
          “… at this point in the story, pretty much anyone’s guess, so without the outside information, you can’t really be sure.”

          What is rather “painfully” obvious, is that ‘Luke’ is most definitely heading toward being a gay character, with only ‘Connor’ being “unstable” — he could easily be written to change his mind — his acting is, rather obvious to me, anyway, a bit “wound up” and his “gay replies” to ‘Luke’ are somewhat “lukewarm” and unsure of himself. ‘Luke’ is portraying a character who is very sure of himself:
          1) … he completely anticipated the armrest/raising ‘Connor’s’ arm on the rest/the pinky exchange (even though he needed to show some “surprise” which he did very well) …
          2) … he’s taking on the “upper side” when ‘Connor’ is obviously unsure whether he should hang out with ‘Luke’ or go see his “girlfriend” (*cough,* *cough*).

          Immediately before and during, ‘Connor’ shows uneasiness through his body English and facial expressions — he is clearly a bit more “uneasy” with portraying a gay character but ‘Luke’ shows his “green light” and goes full steam ahead.

          Gavin MacIntosh just needs to settle back and enjoy the ride … considering he’s being paid handsomely for every kiss he places on Hayden Byerly’s very nice lips. Obviously, I don’t know for sure, but I’d suspect they were paid an extra US$10-15k just for that episode to kiss (any less and I think their familys’ lawyers would be knocking on the doors).

        2. @MR:
          “who is ‘Luke’?? … Do you mean Jude?”

          Yes, I meant, ‘Jude’. Thank you for that correction …. I don’t know where my mind was when I wrote “Luke”.

          Again, thanks.

  7. P.S kissing is not CP. It was not really tonsil hockey anyway more of a tender kiss on the lips than passionate making out.

  8. @Erfulch:
    “ugh, no spoilers please!”

    Then, you should not have:

    1) Read the information about this on the front page, and/or
    2) Clicked on the link to come in to this comment page.

    :-)

  9. Call me sentimental, but when this kiss happened I actually burst into tears. I’ve seen many films involving adolescent sexuality, many of them much more explicit than this, but none of them has caused that kind of reaction in me.

  10. QUOTE: So what’s the big deal? The boys’ lip-to-lip contact is apparently the youngest same-sex kiss on US television; 13-year-olds getting it on was something you’d only find in European films–until now.

    which european film/serie has same sex lip to lip contact?

  11. Will there be another ‘Jonnor’ kiss? Or is this the only one just to appease all the Jonnor fans and “create history”?

    The plot thickens (hopefully).

    1. @MR:

      Thanks for that link. A good read. And nice to know that ABC has “picked up” The Fosters for a third season. Great!

      .

      “And you better not read the comments, the crazy religious scrabble there like crazy…”

      Well, I did (as usual). Do you have any doubt now what I keep saying about our religious-right? I’m never exaggerating about them …. they prove themselves just like you read in those comments.

      1. @Penboy:

        “Do you have any doubt now what I keep saying about our religious-right? I’m never exaggerating about them …. they prove themselves just like you read in those comments.”

        I am honest, i know that they existed, but i never thought that they would be THIS crazy and stupid.
        They don´t listen to logic and reason and they even make up imaginary statistics to proof their arguments eg. all pedophiles are gay
        Yea i tried to discuss with some of them, but i gave it up …. i have better chances to convince a stone that it can swim….

        And they are so full of hate … never seen this much hate before it make me want to vomit….

  12. I just saw these two comments on another site and wanted to share them:

    1) If anyone complains about the fact that the characters kissing in the show are 13 years old, remind them of this: In Shakespeare’s classic and frequently performed play, Romeo and Juliet, guess how old is Juliet? THIRTEEN. So be honest — their only objection is the gender of the individuals, not their age.

    and ….

    2) The best thing about this is that the “Family” part of ABC/Family is still owned by Pat Robertson, who licenses the name out in exchange for ABC/Family airing the dumpster fire that is the “700 Club”. So in a real way, one of the biggest religious bigots in the history of America is responsible for the youngest gay kiss in American TV history. Awesome.

    ………….. I don’t know how accurate this is, but if it is, that is funny (and deserving)!

    1. The last part is actually wrong, because ABC and ABC Family are BOTH owned by DISNEY !!
      (but i think that´s funny too ;) )

      And an addition to the first part:

      Originally Romeo and Juliet was portrait ONLY by male actors (females weren´t allowed on stage that time) And the role of Juliet was most of the time given to a very young boy in the assemble for the feminine looks ;)

      Speaking of same sex kisses on stage….

      1. @MR
        “And the role of Juliet was most of the time given to a very young boy in the assemble for the feminine looks ;”
        ❦Now there’s a play I would watch say with Billy & Michael from “Billy Elliot”, sans the dying of course; yes, I know it’s crucial to the plot but
        I just couldn’t imagine loosing either especially Michael, such a sweet character in the movie.

    2. No, Pat Robertson does not own ABC/Family. He sold The Family Channel to Fox about 20 years ago, and Fox subsequently sold Fox/Family to ABC/Disney. Part of the condition of the original sale is that whoever owns the channel must allow daily broadcasts of Pat Robertson’s TV show.

      1. @Vera:

        Yes, you’re correct. He doesn’t own it, but his crappy show has to be aired (3 times, no less) daily by ABC/Disney. So, that comment was HALF correct.

  13. @MR:
    “The last part is actually wrong, because ABC and ABC Family are BOTH owned by DISNEY!!”

    Here’s from “The 700 Club” @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_700_Club :

    Scroll down to: “1980 to the present”

    “In 1979, The 700 Club moved its studios from WYAH’s facilities in Portsmouth into CBN’s then-new campus in neighboring Virginia Beach, where the program continues to originate. During the 1980s, the show evolved into more of a magazine-like format, with news/opinion and lifestyle segments interspersed with interviews.

    Even after CBN sold its group of terrestrial stations later in the decade, The 700 Club continued to air on CBN Cable as well as many commercial secular stations and Christian stations nationally. CBN was rebranded as The Family Channel in 1988. The Family Channel was packaged as part of a sale of International Family Entertainment to News Corporation and television producer Haim Saban in 1998. The channel was renamed Fox Family Channel, but only three years later Fox Family was sold to the Walt Disney Company and was subsequently rebranded ABC Family. As of 2005, The 700 Club airs on ABC Family thrice [3 times] daily, part of a contractual obligation originally made as part of the Family Channel’s sale to News Corporation. As of 2009, the first airing of the show in the morning (only) has been preceded by a half hour show called 700 Club Interactive, which utilizes internet user generated videos and comments by viewers of the show.”

    Read what I have bolded and italicized — it looks like that comment was/is correct.

    1. argh now that i´ve thought about it and read the comment again and again, yea it is right and i misunderstood it, …

      it just says he owns the NAME ‘Family’ and not the channel itself (here was my mistake)

      Yea you´re right… forget my other posts ;)

  14. No it just means, that Disney OWNS ABC Family but is obligated to air the stupid show 700 Club because of the selling deal they made.

    I wonder if there is a time limit in this selling deal or if they have to air this shitty show forever…

    1. @MR:
      “I wonder if there is a time limit in this selling deal or if they have to air this shitty show forever…”

      As long as both are making their million$ [on that show and/or the ads for it], they’ll do whatever it takes to keep their wealth.

  15. i think is wrong this is not the first younger boy kiss on American Tv, i saw 2 year back ABC TV SHOW COMEDY “Back in the Game (2013– )” Griffin Gluck kiss another boy almost hes age and btw in the cast of that show is a younger gay actor call J.J. Totah

    Griffin Gluck kiss Cooper Roth Season one Pilot

    1. @MoK:

      You appear to be right. I did some looking up of this and I found:

      Griffin Gluck as Danny Gannon on Back in the Game. This kid is less nerdy and cloying, and more socially awkward and bad at sports. Plus, he has the guts to kiss a boy in order to diffuse a fight and impress a girl.

      Speaking of Back In The Game remember (how could you forget!) the kissing scene in the first episode? Well, having studied that moment in all its slow motion detail I noticed something interesting. In the scene, Danny is supposed to be catching David by surprise by kissing him and then David quickly pushes Danny away seeming to dislike being kissed. But someone forgot to remind Cooper Roth, who plays Danny, of that when they shot the kiss. If you look very closely (and who among us hasn’t?) you will see that at the moment of the kiss Cooper puckers up and returns the kiss. Now THAT is HOT. One thing I caught in the pilot was that as the coach was making her speech about being outcasts, she gets to JJ Totah’s character and says, “They may call you ga…effeminate…” She hesitated to say the word gay and he (the character) looked relieved. I’m not sure quite what that was meant to convey but I found it interesting.

      The “ga…effeminate” does not seem too mysterious to me. Earlier in the episode the boy’s mother tells Maggie that her son is gay, like his father was, so she’s already got that in her head when she talks to the team. But just because his mom casually tells her that he’s gay does not mean that the kid really wants to hear the coach say it to the entire team, so she wisely switches to say “effeminate” instead. The boy’s relief indicates that he thinks he might actually be fooling someone or else he just does not want it talked about.

      “Back In The Game” TV Series (1 or 2 Seasons)

      Griffin Gluck as ‘Danny Gannon’ http://i.imgur.com/AJCo1sm.jpg

      Cooper Roth as ‘David Slingbaugh’ http://i.imgur.com/H5TRXfG.jpg

      If I find the video, I’ll post the link (or someone else can).

  16. “both actors made clear that they are actually straight” –
    This or similar are very common statements, as it is apparently very important to tell the world that we are not one of these terrible gays(which the statement implies). And is it common or believable that when you are 13 you are so sure what sexual preference you have that you want to tell the world?

    1. @whiteBunny:
      The character Jude better get used to the taste of cum. [Connor’s] of course.

      This is supposed to be a “G” rated TV Series … or maybe a “PG” rating (to satisfy a few parents).

      You’ve just progressed this Series to at least an “R” rating! Then there won’t be any young teens allowed to watch this — the very ones this Series is aimed at!

  17. All cute and enjoyable but it’s not the youngest male-male kiss on TV. Griffin Gluck (who Hayden Byerly reminds me of,) kissed another boy on the lips in the pilot of the short-lived “Back in the Game.” They were around 11.

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