ABC Family’s “The Fosters” has ignited a sharply divide debate after featuring a gay kiss between two of the family drama’s 13-year-old male characters, marking the youngest same sex kiss in TV history.
The intimate moment between Jude (Hayden Byerly) and Connor (Gavin MacIntosh) sparked a flurry of reactions from social media, with some praising the show for tackling such a hot-button issue in an elegant fashion and others critiquing the show’s creators and the network for airing a same-sex kiss between two underage actors.
“So happy they are progressing & showing young love,” @marthapreston4 wrote. “People forget that gay people don’t become gay only as adults.”
But not all of the reactions were positive: “Nothing about this entire show seems suitable for children,” @adamcassandra wrote.
“Disgusting, why is this being forced on us?,” @GCGATOR24 asked.
GLAAD, however, praised the episode of television: “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,” a spokesperson for organization told TheWrap.
Jennifer Lopez is an executive producer on the series, which has already been renewed for a Season 3. But series creator Peter Paige, (“Queer as Folk”) took to Twitter immediately after the airing to discuss the romantic moment and ponder whether his characters were making television history.
“Youngest same-sex kiss in U.S. television history?” he wrote. “Do you remember YOUR first kiss?”
Many other fans of the show also chimed in to offer kind words: “That was my favorite on screen kiss ever. #Jonner!” @annika_marks tweeted.
“#Jonnor happened today. Life is complete,” @juliagguerinn wrote.
The young actor who portrays Jude tweeted out his gratitude for all of those who have expressed kind words and sentiments: “Lots of buzz today,” Byerly wrote. “Thank you so much for the support! The Fosters is all about educating.”
Here are a smattering of social media reactions: