MTV’s ‘Faking It’ breaks barriers in television

Ashley Helminski, Reporter

While there have been many shows that have addressed sexuality, there has never been one like “Faking It”. Not only does it show the tribulations of lesbian Amy Raudenfield, but introduces Amy’s step sister Lauren as intersex. Intersex, in Lauren’s case, is having the outward appearance of a female with internal male anatomy.

Hester High School in Austin, Texas is not your average high school. People who, in a stereotypical high school, would be popular are now at the bottom of the food chain. The cheerleaders and football jocks are put down for their lack of individuality. To stand out at their liberal high school, best friends Amy and Karma pretend to be a lesbian couple, hence the name “Faking It”. They rise in popularity when they are elected homecoming queens.

Throughout all of season one, Lauren works towards turning Hester into a “normal” high school. She is also appalled by the students and teachers’ openness to the arts at Hester and becomes the “villain” by trying to tell everyone that Karma and Amy are faking being lesbians.

When Amy and Karma are forced to kiss to prove their relationship, Amy discovers that she really has feelings for Karma. Lauren, being Amy’s step sister, blackmails her for various reasons by threatening to tell their entire school that they were faking being a couple to just gain popularity and get noticed.

In the first season it is discovered that Lauren takes “pills” which everyone is curious about because she is perceived as a “perfect princess”.

Lauren tells her football player boyfriend, Tommy, about how her “pills” were hormones that she needs to take because she is intersex. Upon hearing this Tommy breaks up with her. In the second season you start to see how vulnerable Lauren is. With her “cookie cutter” boyfriend and the fact the she wasn’t elected homecoming queen both gone she continuously tells herself that it’s because she’s intersex.

People are becoming more and more accepting of things that were once unheard of. People like Ellen Degeneres and Neil Patrick Harris have made being gay so much more realistic. Characters like Adam Torres for Teennick’s “Degrassi” show the tribulations of being transgender in high school, and people like Laverne Cox show how being transgender can’t hold you back from your dreams in any career.

Now, even though Hester isn’t your average high school, Lauren is giving both guys and girls that are born intersex someone to look up to and relate to. One baby in every one hundred born differ from standard male or female, so that just shows how common this really is. Now this issue may not be as prominent as Lauren’s but there are still people, our peers who deal and will have to deal with this throughout their entire lives.

The midseason finale of “Faking It” ended with the entire school finding out that Lauren is intersex. I am excited to see how the writers develop Lauren and her story.

The return date for the rest of season two has not yet been announced but keep an open eye for “Faking It” next year on MTV.