The answer is probably not…unless they happen to be boys.
Recently, an episode of the TV show The Fosters had a scene in which two 13-year-old boys kissed. It also referenced another kiss.
If you read the scene on a page, with no names, you’d have no idea who the kids were. It was that common. You’d probably assume it was a guy and a girl. Change one voice, you’d probably think the same thing. You’d listen to the mildly dramatic teen love scene play out and move on.
Add the visual, a boy and a girl, meh, that’s TV. The same young love scene played out ad nauseum.
Two girls, wait…oh, it’s two girls. Not much to see here. Maybe a protest or two. Been there, done that.
But this is two boys. Two camping, football playing, t-shirt wearing boys.
The critics are not happy.
The Foster’s co-creator Peter Paige had this to say in response:
“More than anything else, we felt responsibility to those kids and to our younger selves who didn’t see themselves reflected anywhere… We’ve all been watching stories about heterosexuals forever… As a gay kid you are always having to translate. You are always having to pretend like you are one of the other characters. You’re not seeing your life accurately reflected…I would say its very easy to balk at or sensationalize the headline, but its hard to deny the truth or the integrity of the whole story… We are here to tell the true stories of what it is to grow up and these are true stories of what it is to grow up as a young, potentially gay person. It’s the truth and that’s all.”
– The Fosters co-creator Peter Paige to The Wrap, defending the choice to show a same-sex kiss between two 13-year-old characters.
Here’s the clip:
(Context: This relationship is something that the show has been exploring since its beginning.)