America’s Youngest Gay Kiss

milkboys Film & TV, Films & TV 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. Read More

The Fosters: Queer Childhood

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The Fosters Explores the Fear and Possibility of Queer Childhood

the-fosters-connorIn the Feb. 9 episode of ABC Family’s The Fosters, 13-year-old Jude goes to the movies on a double date with Connor, his best friend, and Daria and Taylor, two girls from school. It seems Connor and Daria are there to make out, and they have brought Jude and Taylor along as cover.

When Jude takes his seat, Connor pointedly lowers the armrest between them. But after the lights go down, their pinkies touch and then cross. The camera cuts back and forth between their flushed faces, their eyes wide with nervous excitement and surprise at the intensity, while Daria and Taylor absently watch the “chick flick” they’ve supposedly come to see.

The scene is unexpectedly and palpably erotic—a feat that speaks to the richness and complexity with which the show has developed Jude’s storyline over its first two seasons. And yet it is clear that this touch will not provide a neat resolution to the questions about Jude and Connor’s relationship or sexuality, but, rather, will only deepen the exploration.

Jude is not the first queer teenager on television, but he is among the youngest—and he is the first to be raised by queer parents. The Fosters follows a modern family of a kind rarely seen on television—an interracial lesbian couple, Lena and Stef Adams-Foster, and their five racially diverse children: one biological; three adopted, including Jude; and one whose adoption has been repeatedly stalled—Jude’s sister Callie.

It’s a sentimental teen drama that manages at moments to show foster care and LGBTQ parenting with sensitivity and texture. But its most radical move may be in its depiction of Jude, played with thoughtful nuance by Hayden Byerly.

Read on…

Hunger

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The neglected siblings Roland and Paul watch the deportation of their immigrant neighbours. Once the police has left, they decide to enter the abandoned apartment. Inside they discover another world; exotic food, music, clothes and make-up, belonging to the deported family. For a moment they have the chance to immerse themselves in a world of games and play – however when their father discovers them, they are quickly brought back to reality.