The Fosters brings teen struggles to light

Hayley Gorman, Editor-in-Chief

In June of 2013, ABC Family debuted the groundbreaking television drama The Fosters. The Fosters centers around an interracial, lesbian couple and their biological, adopted, and foster children.

Stef Foster (Teri Polo), a police officer, and her partner, Lena Adams (Sherri Saum) are the parents of five children. Brandon (David Lambert) is the biological son of Stef and her ex-husband Mike Foster (Danny Nucci). Jesus (Jake T. Austin) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) are Hispanic twins who were adopted by the Adams Foster household.

In the pilot, the first episode, Callie Jacobs (Maia Mitchell) and her younger brother, Jude, are rescued from their absuive foster home and brought to live with the Adams Fosters.

A really interesting point that The Fosters has included is to show that DNA doesn’t make a family, love does.

One of the reasons this show is so unique is the diversity of the cast. Even though we saw an interraical couple on I Love Lucy in the 1950’s, it is still uncommon to see an interracial couple on television.

Also, Mariana and Jesus are Hispanic; however, they didn’t grow up with the culture. In the second season, Mariana goes to a Spanish festival with her boyfriend, but feels out of place because she doesn’t want people to associate her with the Hispanic culture.

The Fosters is pushing forth social issues onto the television screen. I think it’s important that from an early age, adolescents are exposed to social issues, and are allowed to make their own judgements based on what they hear and see.

In the last few episodes of the second season, a new storyline emerged, and The Fosters  debuted the youngest same-sex kiss on television. Even though there has been some backlash, I think most fans have been supportive.

Jude and Connor Stevens (Gavin MacIntosh) are middle schoolers who are exploring their sexuality. The writers of the show took this “relationship” very slowly over the last two seasons.

In one of first episodes of the first season, Jude strays from social norms and paints his nails blue. He is bullied for this action, but Connor arrives to school the next day with his nails painted, too. I think it’s really interesting to see teenagers straying from gender norms.

The Fosters is important for younger people to watch to understand that it’s okay to be different. The Fosters is streaming on Netflix and the third season will premire in June on ABC Family.

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