'Faking It' Bully Lauren Tells Her Friends She's Intersex & Their Reaction Proves The Show Is Doing Something Awesome
In the months following its premiere, MTV's Faking It got a whole lot of criticism. And even though I'm a huge fan, I'll admit that at first glance, it looked like it deserved it. Why would any show aimed at teens want to make light of the struggle that so many people face in coming out? But the show has proven everyone wrong, and if you're not watching, you definitely should be. Critics, consider yourselves told off — GLAAD has officially honored the show, and I'm hoping that their praise will help people realize what an awesome thing the show is doing for the teens who watch it — especially after the latest Season 2 plot twist. Amy, in the midst of her journey to find her own identity, is not the only character trying to hide who she is from the world. As it turns out, her new stepsister has a few secrets up her sleeve, too... and they all have to do with the fact that Lauren is intersex, which Inter/Act Youth describes as a "term describing people born with one of over 30 variations of sex anatomy resulting in neither purely male or female bodies." So those pills Lauren has been popping don't hide a secret drug addiction — they're actually hormone pills, and the word is out.
On last week's episode, "You Can't Handle The Truth or Dare," Lauren ends up telling the truth to friends Lisbeth and Leila and although she's a little concerned about their possible reactions, it turns out she had no need to worry. After hearing about Lauren's Androgen Insensitivity Disorder, her friends show her nothing but love.
Scenes like this one make me want to write a long, sprawling love letter to the powers that be at MTV, thanking them for introducing their audiences to a condition that they might be unfamiliar with, and then showing that despite her differences, Lauren is still accepted by her peers. It would have been expected that, because Lauren tends to be so mean, something like this could be used against her by people who she's bullied. But instead, she's met with understanding. This might not be possible in actual high school, but it's possible on MTV, and that's the first step to getting the rest of the world to act kindly.
It's kind of amazing that Lauren just went from one of my most hated Faking It characters to one of my favorites, and seeing how she handles the people around her finding out something she's tried to keep under wraps for so long is just making me love her more. So far, Faking It has been a champion for those who need their voices heard, and my fingers are crossed that there are more scenes like this on the way.