'The Fosters' Brought Jude's LGBT Storyline Line To The Summer Finale, But Left Him Behind
Another half-season of ABC Family's The Fosters down and another lost LGBT storyline for Jude. Honestly, this is starting to get a little infuriating because Jude deserves a lot better than this. On Aug. 18, The Fosters aired its Season 2 summer finale and while it piled up on the feels for Callie and her adoption and even cued up Brallie again. And, thankfully, it even touched on Jude's slow-burning LGBT storyline except there was one huge omission: Jude wasn't really a part of it.
After having Lena, Jude, and Connor take a little leave-of-absence from the show for a few episodes where they went camping to experience nature, The Fosters brought them back. And, subsequently had Lena face-off against Connor's dad for being a bully and Jude and Connor hint that the fact that they might have gotten a little cozy in their tent. And, while I appreciate Lena's efforts to defend Jude and Connor from his terrible bigot of a father, I was disappointed by the new principal and Stef's reactions to her behavior — that she was doing it for personal reasons as a result of losing her baby. First of all, that's bullshit and second of all, protecting your child from an overgrown bully is never a selfish act. It's just not — where is your maternal side, Stef?
But anyway, the important thing here is that, while Lena's addressing the issue of Connor's dad, no one is trying to talk to Jude about what he's feeling. And The Fosters having Connor and Jude insinuate that there was something going on and they did something "bad" is dragging the series and Jude as a character totally backwards. The Fosters prides itself on being a groundbreaking and unique series that centers on a new family, brings homosexuality to the forefront, and regularly pushes the limit (like addressing late-term abortions on primetime television) and yet, they refuse to directly acknowledge Jude's sexuality. And it should really be starting to rub Fosters fans the wrong way.
Jude's LGBT storyline has been an important and unjustly ignored part of this series since its first season. And it still has yet come to any kind of conclusion or reassuring high point. I get that this is primarily a story about Callie and her journey into becoming a person that's more in control of their life and able to accept love from others and that's perfectly fine. But, was it really necessary to drum up old problems and waste time on giving Brandon and Callie a second chance at love? As far as I'm concerned, no.
That time could've been better spent with Lena having a meaningful conversation with Jude about her conflict with Connor's father and about what happened between him and Connor on the camping trip. Instead, The Fosters took the LGBT storyline away from Jude — who it's really about — and handed it over to Lena, turning it into a part of her post-abortion storyline.
All I'm forced to wonder is why? When The Fosters first introduced the possibility that Jude might be gay, they had him sit down with Lena and ask her about realizing that she was gay. And, even though Lena didn't really listen and she just told him that he definitely wasn't gay, just jealous, it was an important moment. Since then, however, the series has done its best to remove Jude from his own storyline and his own issues with his sexuality. And he deserves so much better than that and so much better than to believe that he's doing something "bad" by following this feelings and attraction to Connor, especially if he's reciprocating.
When The Fosters Season 2 returns, it's in the perfect place to pick up this storyline, give it back to Jude, and finally sit him down and tell him that what he's feeling is OK. And if it fails to do so, The Fosters is failing everything that it's trying to represent and that's just sad.
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