…You owe me a serious slug of good rum, mate. Watching an hour of of inter-Unionist wrangling is enough to make a man take to the quare stuff.
…You owe me a serious slug of good rum, mate. Watching an hour of of inter-Unionist wrangling is enough to make a man take to the quare stuff.
The documentary Greg Louganis: Back on Board was a hit at festivals a year ago, but with its debut on HBO Sports this week, the heartbreaking story of one of America’s greatest athletes will finally reach millions of households who may not be aware of the diver’s ups and downs since he was in the spotlight.
Directed by Cheryl Furjanic and produced by Furjanic and Will Sweeney, the film about the four-time Olympic gold medalist comes at a pivotal time when acute attention is being paid to LGBT athletes, especially after Caitlyn Jenner came out as trans this year and the debut of the docuseriesI Am Cait on E! is creating heightened trans awareness. The fact that some have questioned whether Jenner deserved her medals after the revelation, is a sore point for Louganis as well since people had tried to take his medals after coming out as HIV-positive. But it was Louganis’s husband, Johnny Chaillot who informed Louganis of the similarity.
“I had no idea since I don’t read my press,” Louganis explains, while sipping coffee in a Midtown New York City hotel with his dog Dobby at his feet. “I had competed in the ’88 Seoul Olympics while HIV-positive, and some people said I shouldn’t have been allowed in the country. I’m kind of glad I didn’t know it, but it made me think: How can you deny somebody, especially a physical achievement like that? You can’t take that performance away. It stands on its own.”
Chaillot and Louganis were married in California in the fall of 2013 — and it’s a happy turning point included in the film — and since then, Chaillot has helped Louganis get many of his affairs in order and donated a trove of memorabilia to the National LGBT Museum, which plans to open its doors in New York City in 2019. “They now have the largest collection of Greg Louganis memorabilia collection in the world,” Chaillot says. “Hopefully they are going to do a preview of Greg’s stuff since next year since it’s an Olympic year. We kept some of the bigger items” — including medals from each of the Olympics — “But we donated items like Speedos he wore in competitions and the 1988 sweater he wore in Seoul, so these things would be in a place where the whole world can see them.”
Since the film begins with Louganis in dire financial straits and about to lose his Malibu home, we wanted to know how his life has changed since the filming took place and find out where he’s living these days.
Out: Was it odd that the film starts with you and the house and your financial situation?
Greg Louganis: When I first saw it, I got a little nervous. I think it was important to tell the story because it wasn’t unique: This was happening across the country with loans and the 2006 black mold scare. I know how empowering it can be to know that someone else has been through that. I think it was an important story to tell within the documentary. But we sold the house last year. It was kind of bittersweet, I lived there 29 years. But now we’re completely out of debt. I was able to pay my taxes, my loan, paid for our wedding. Now we have a whole new fresh start.
In many ways, the message of the film seem to be a cautionary tale for athletes and families of athletes to make them aware that you aren’t going to be “golden” your entire life.
Right. That’s why I wanted to talk about mentoring U.S. divers. It’s not just about getting to the Olympics and performing well at the games. What happens after? When you retire from your sport, you’re still pretty young and you almost lose your identity. To go through that process of: Now what do I do? I didn’t know what my passion was going to be. I’ve seen it with the other athletes, you reach a certain age, and you need something else to move to.
One of the more poignant lines from the documentary is when you explain that, having a coach who told you what to do, you never had to think about how to live your life. Do you have any advice for people who have that sort of relationship so it doesn’t necessarily translate into other parts of their lives?
My coach was trustworthy, and I trusted him. We were together for 10 years, so I trust him implicitly. I always knew he had my best interest at heart, but in the “real world” not everyone is trustworthy, so that was a real hard lesson for me to learn. I kept making the same mistakes again and again, but I needed to learn those lessons. I don’t have any regrets, but I would like, in an ideal world, for other athletes and performers and whomever would hear that and not make the same mistakes. Part of that is learning what questions to ask or doing the research, now that we have the Internet, you can look people up and do background checks.
One of the other details revealed in the doc that I didn’t know about: You never had a Wheaties box. I know it’s not the biggest accoldate, but I never realized that you were overlooked in that way.
You know what, I didn’t either until I was working with Cheryl on the documentary, and we were at the International Swimming Hall of Fame where they had all the Wheaties boxes lined up of all the aquatic athletes. It’s box after box after box, of some rather obscure names, and I’m going, “Oh my god, I am nowhere in that group.”
What did that feel like to realize that oversight?
Well that first came out with the book in ’95. I thought, Oh yeah, whatever. I didn’t really know the significance of it until we started working on Back on Board and I saw all the boxes and realized, I’m not there. That was the first time it really struck me what the significance of that was. I realized why people were upset.
But two of the reasons you thought were that there were rumors that you were gay or you felt you weren’t “All-American” enough. But that made me think about people wondering if that would affect Caitlyn Jenner in some way: Would Wheaties do something now that she came out as transgender or would the OIC take away her medals?
I marched in the opening ceremonies with Bruce in 1976. I was on the Tour of Champions with Medco, and they always put me with Bruce and Mark [Spitz], and between the two of them I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I know these people. Then the whole Kardashian thing. I don’t watch TV so I don’t know, I haven’t seen the show.
I wasn’t sharing the Caitlyn sensationalism angle, but I read about trans-exploitation, a term I had heard before, and discussed it with Johnny and what the implications can be. So that was news to me. I did Larry Kramer’s Just Say No with Alexandra Billings, and Alexandra taught me so much about her journey transitioning. That’s been my education. The thing about it is we talk about the LGBT community, but we’re really not informed as a community. I know a lot about the G, and I have wonderful relations with the L in LGBT, but the B, I’m not quite as sure, but I have a better sensitivity to it by viewing sexuality as much more fluid. But I knew nothing about the T in LGBT, so to do that show with Alexandra, I had an education and how to talk respectfully. It’s almost like learning a whole new language. Also, RuPaul is a friend. And RuPaul, he or she, it’s whatever I’m dressed as, that’s how you address me.
Personally, I kind of bristle with the whole “girlfriend” and “she” thing. Someone called me “Oh, girl” or “her” or something like that. And I said, “Excuse me?” I said I’m a man and I’m proud to be a man. I appreciate camp and there’s a time and a place for that but to somebody you don’t know, it can be rather inappropriate.
One of the happiest moments takes place after we see you selling off your memorabilia and medals to save your house, and then you meet Johnny, and you find happiness. Was that something you think the filmmakers were looking for?
I wasn’t in the editing process at all. I relinquished all the creative control, but having built that relationship with Cheryl, she was like my therapist who I would go to. And the crew, too. They lived with us through this, too. One of the crewmembers was going through the same thing I was going through. I just reconnected with him recently and I found out he was also able to get out of the debt and sell his house and he’s moved on.
Now Johnny and I are very cautious about her finances. We’re living well within our means so we can put money aside. We know where we’re at right now is temporary [Chaillot’s one-bedroom Beverly Hills apartment, which he describes as cramped, but “very Gloria Swanson.] It’s affordable and we don’t have to worry where the next job is coming from. We don’t have that pressure. With that lifted, it enables us to have much more freedom.
Greg Louganis: Back on Board debuted on Aug. 4 at 10 p.m. on HBO. Watch a clip below:
The steamy scene which aired last week here in the UK, saw characters Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson) and Nate Kinski (Meyne Wyatt) share their first kiss on screen, but it wasn’t a private moment. No they did it in front of an audience. They were doing it as part of a promotion stunt for Lassiter’s hotel. In our opinion they should have sold tickets.
So let’s get this straight, put two ridic hot lads into a glass box, give them an audience… and they start kissing? Okay, we need to get the Cube installed in the office.
There was a storm in Black Sails fandom earlier this year when Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) was seen to have a gay romance.
But actor Rupert Penry-Jones – who played Flint’s lover Thomas Hamilton – told Digital Spy that the divisive plot was originally intended to be an even bigger part of the series.
“I knew that it would be a big deal,” he said. “Can you imagine… the lead character in a show about pirates – with a famous character like Flint, and you’re going to basically say that he’s gay – that’s kind of massive!
“I mean, the cast didn’t even know [about the twist] until they actually got that episode – it was very hush hush, but I thought it was a great idea.”
Penry-Jones suggested that his role on Black Sails was scaled back after some people were “freaked out” by the storyline.
“I don’t know what happened, but I think maybe there were some people at the top who were uncomfortable about that side of things,” he revealed. “So maybe it didn’t get put into the show as much as maybe it was originally going to be.
“I was certainly led to believe [Hamilton] was a more major character than he ended up being, so I think what happened was, they started seeing [the storyline] and what a major effect it was having and it freaked a few people out, like: ‘No no no, we can have lesbian pirates but not gay ones!'”
On the series, Hamilton was ‘disappeared’ by Flint’s rivals – but Penry-Jones played down fan speculation that his character could still return.
“I don’t think he is! I’m tied into another TV show for a few years to come now, so I can’t, unless they work some dates out. If they have ideas about me coming back, I don’t know about it.”
He went on to describe working in US television as “a lot more cutthroat” than acting on screen in the UK: “It’s weird when you do an American show – there’s no sort of pastoral care around it.
“You turn up and do what you’re being paid to do – and then when it’s done, you go home. It’s not like working for the BBC or ITV where they’re really lovely and look after you and keep you part of it.
“You’re there when you’re there, and you’re paid, and the rest of the time you might as well not exist.”
Toby Stephens recently told DS that Flint’s gay romance on Black Sails had helped to change some viewers’ minds on the topic.
“For a lot of guys, they just can’t get their head around it,” he said. “But then most of the guys that had cried out against it, by the end of [the storyline], they had come round again.”
Rupert Penry-Jones stars in Life in Squares, continuing this Monday (August 10) at 9pm on BBC Two. The first series of Black Sails continues on Tuesdays at 10pm on History.
Meet Captain Flint in a teaser for Black Sails below:
Read more: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/news/a661865/rupert-penry-jones-says-flints-gay-romance-on-black-sails-was-cut-back.html#ixzz3jNyYOnSq
Follow us: @digitalspy on Twitter | digitalspyuk on Facebook
6 Queer TV Favorites Returning This Fall
As a slew of new shows are scheduled to premiere in the coming months, we can’t help but hold onto our favorites—at least five of the best returning for this season. And it’s going to be one dramatic fall as Lee Daniels, Ryan Murphy and Pete Nowalk up the ante with their respective series (Empire, American Horror Story, and How to Get Away With Murder).
American Horror Story: Hotel
Ryan Murphy has done the impossible: made cable’s campiest show even gayer by adding Cheyenne Jackson, Matt Bomer, and “Monster” maven Lady Gaga to the cast of its fifth installment. Cancel that reservation at the Bates Motel—here’s your new haunt. (Premieres Oct. 7 at 10 P.M. ET on FX)
There’s no stopping Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) or her flying shoes, but Lee Daniels is upping the ante in season two with a sleuth of guest stars. Andre Leon Talley, Chris Rock, Kelly Rowland, and Mariah Carey are all scheduled to make appearances. But nothing tops Marisa Tomei as a venture capitalist who loves hip-hop, fashion and beautiful women. (Premieres Sept 23 at 9 P.M. on Fox)
The Good Wife
Following a bumpy season six and the loss of Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), the legal procedural looks to woo us back with a hunky new addition (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Also joining the fray is a new campaign strategist (Margo Martindale) who will battle with Alan Cumming’s Eli Gold. (Premieres Oct. 4 at 9 P.M. on CBS)
How to Get Away With Murder
The Viola Davis-led ensemble is back for a second season and it’s going to be just as killer as the first—literally. A fresh murder and strained relationships has the cast, including Jack Falahee and Alfred Enoch, on edge with only a few people they can trust. (Premieres Sept. 24 at 10 P.M. ET on ABC)
While Nick Jonas downplays his gay icon status, there’s no denying he adds a punch of heat to the fighting drama. The new season will see Nick’s character continue to battle his demons as secrets come back to haunt him. (Premieres Oct. 14 at 9 P.M. ET on DirecTV)
Making us wait the longest is the return of the Emmy-nominated series now at the center of the transgender zeitgeist. Creator Jill Soloway says the show will move past explaining the trans community to audiences as it dives deeper into each character’s experiences. (Premieres Dec. 4 on Amazon)
76 complaints have been made
TV Watchdog’s Ofcom have ruled there were no grounds to investigate the BBC over ‘implied’ romance between two men next to an open coffin.
The controversial scene features two characters, Ben Mitchell and Paul Coker stripped off above the waist, embracing each other next to an open coffin with a dead woman’s body inside.
The watchdog received 76 complaints after the scene was aired in July and fans of the soap were not afraid to express their anger over Twitter, branding it ‘disgraceful and distasteful’. Other fans tweeted ‘Well. Wasn’t expecting to watch #Eastenders tonight and see a dead body in a coffin… Thanks for that #horrible’.
Ofcom has since dismissed the complaints, which are thought to be about the location of the action rather than the sexuality of the characters, which comes after assessing whether there were grounds to launch a formal investigation.
I just wanted to let you all know about an exciting new digital portal from the UCLA Film & Television Archive:http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/groundbreaking-television-coverage-of-lgbt-milestones-now-online
The portal contains freely available streaming video of the LGBT newsmagazine “In the Life,” which ran from 1992-2012, as well as some contextual readings. This launch is phase one of the project, and includes 15 of the show’s 21 seasons. More complete video content will be available this coming Fall.
Access to the resource is available via the Archive’s website: https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/collections/inthelife
The UCLA Library also holds the print archival records for the show: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8x350tk/
Stuart Hatton Jr talks dancing
After the professional dancer James Jordan spoke publicly about his dislike for same-sex couples on the hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing there was an influx of responses on Twitter from fans and dancers alike.
Dancer, championship adjudicator and current Mr Gay UK Stuart Hatton Jr gave us his thoughts on James’ comments:
When you think of ballroom dancing, you think of sparkles, you think of glitter balls and you think of Blackpool but ultimately you think of a man twirling his partner around on the open dance floor; however, there is a new wave of Quicksteppers waltzing alongside Fred and Ginger in the shape of Fred and Ted and Ginger and Jean.
There are many who welcome this new addition to the ballroom floor of seeing two men tango the night away and two women foxtrot under the glitter ball, however there still seems to be a lot of individuals who do not want this style of Ballroom dancing to appear on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
I for one do not understand this backlash against same sex dancing couples, who only just want to dance; they are not starting wars, they are not breaking the law and all they are doing is dancing with passion from the heart.
On Monday 22 June, I sat in horror and I watched James Jordan on This Morning, discuss his feelings on Same Sex Dancing Couples with Philip Scofield and Amanda Holden. I used to have the utmost respect for Mr Jordan as a fellow professional ballroom teacher and as an artiste. However, his rant live on TV against Same Sex Ballroom Dancers appearing on Strictly has left me completely upset and disappointed.
Mr Jordan said that same sex couples “would be “a joke” and that “people wouldn’t take it seriously. It would have to be comedy value, two men dancing a sexy rumba together, I don’t think it would work”. He then continued, “Ballroom and Latin dancing is about a man dancing with a woman… Ballroom and Latin dancing is 10 dances, you have 5 Ballroom and 5 Latin… I don’t believe that Ballroom and Latin dancing is about two men dancing with each other or possibly two women… on Strictly, let’s keep it traditional. Why do we have to change something to tick another box? Oh, there we go! We’ll tick that box as well! We have same sex couples dancing, fantastic! There are a lot of people in this country who would probably agree with me, that they don’t particularly want to watch Strictly and see same sex couples”
Well, where to start? I see that using the, “I’m not homophobic but…” disclaimer doesn’t make your thoughts any less outdated and by semantically inserting the word “traditional” does not make you sound any less anti-gay that you did indeed sound. If you think about it, I believe it is tradition for the Samba to be danced in the streets and carnivals of Brazil, but yet, here we are in 2015 and we’re dancing the Samba live on UK TV and in London no less; surely that’s breaking with tradition isn’t it? Things change, times move forward. This in 2015 for goodness sake! The United Kingdom proudly passed Same Sex Marriage in 2014 and here we are in 2015 listening to James Jordan ramble on about whether or not tradition allows a same sex couple to dance on TV? Let us not forget that many women go to tea dances and dance together socially, possibly because their male partners do not wish to participate, possibly because there is a shortage of male partners or maybe they have sadly lost their partners.
Same sex dancing does not just belong within the LGBTI community. It’s been going on for years. In hundreds of dance schools around the world, women have always danced with women and girls have always danced with girls due to a shortage of boys taking up Ballroom dancing. In fact, I am sure if you look at the statistics around the UK, you will see that over 70% of all ballroom dancing partnerships are made up of two women. How very dare they break the rules of tradition, well the rules of ‘tradition’ according to James Jordan. Shame on them!
Furthermore, Mr Jordan went on to say, “Ballroom and Latin dancing is about a man dancing with a woman, the way the dress moves, the feminity, the masculinty…” Hang on a a minute, as a championship adjudicator, I myself along with many of my professional peers have never once judged the validity of a dance partnership based on ‘the way the dress moves.’ When judging dancers, I take in to account technique, poise, deportment, footwork, shaping, silhouette, standard, quality, charisma, performance and togetherness and so do the majority of other dance judges; I would never mark a couple first place on the dance floor because the lady dancer was wearing a bonny frock.
On the flip side, it has been nice to read all the positive online support regarding same sex Strictly over the past few days and even Amanda Holden cut James Jordan off at the end of the interview with her thoughts, “Personally, I would love to see same sex couples [on Strictly]”. If you want to get involved then The Pink Jukebox in London have been offering dance classes for same sex partners for over 30 years. Strictly Come Dancing star, Robin Windsor offers his own same sex workshops around the country and I myself run my own same sex ballroom dancing classes at my dance studios in the North of England.
Furthermore, it is not just the dance professionals who are in support of the same sex dancers, Freed of London, one of the world’s leading companies in dance shoes will be showing support by picturing an all-male couple from now on throughout all their advertising, a shoot which I was proud to be a part of You can check out the behind the scenes video here.
Equality and diversity are very much moving forward in the UK but it’s individuals like James Jordan who voice their outdated views using the semantic shield of ‘tradition’ that will constantly leave the LGBTI community afraid that acceptance is still not, well, ‘accepted’ even on the ballroom dance floor. Just think of the many people he is influencing not only in the dancing world, but the wider general public; This gentleman has the ability to influence change for the better and yet he preaches (what many have called on social media) ‘homophobia’ hidden behind the excuse of ‘tradition’.
I hope that when same sex dancers appear on Strictly Come Dancing, because this will happen, James Jordan will maybe change his views and see the positive impact that this will have not only on the dancing world but also within the LGBTI community and really, if you think about it two women dancing together is the ‘traditional’ norm for the majority of all dance schools around the UK, so let’s get this tradition on the BBC. Until his views change, my respect for James Jordan is at an all-time low, which is a sad thing too because he is and always has been a bloody good dancer.
In the criminal justice system on television, some portrayals of LGBT people are considered particularly heinous.
One exception, however, is TNT’s Major Crimes, a spin-off of the beloved series The Closer,created by openly gay writer James Duff. Major Crimes kicks off its fourth season tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern, and features the character Rusty Beck, portrayed by Graham Patrick Martin. Rusty made his debut in the series finale of The Closer and has been a central element ofMajor Crimes since its debut, acting as one of the principle narrative threads connecting the episodes. He’s been a homeless teen, the child of an addict, the witness to a murder and one of the most three-dimensional gay characters on television.
Ahead of tonight’s premiere, we spoke with Martin about the role and what’s ahead for Rusty in season four.
Towleroad: You joined this project during the series finale of The Closer. When you were first introduced to this character, what really interested you about Rusty?
Graham Patrick Martin: What’s great about this show, not to knock on other procedural shows, but what this show does‚ and The Closer did and now Major Crimes‚ is James Duff and the rest of the writing staff really writes these full characters, like even the people down to the one liners. It just feels like they have a full life, and that’s what I loved about Rusty going into it.
TR: What surprised you most about how the character developed over the years?
GM: What I really love about it is that Major Crimes has taken great care in writing and developing Rusty as a multi-faceted character where the emphasis is just as much on his humanity as it is on his sexual identity. They haven’t really short-changed or accelerated his story for purposes of effect or purposes of making the show more interesting. They’ve really sort of authentically allowed this character to grow into the man he’s becoming. He’s not quite there yet, but he’s on his way. It’s really fascinating because the story’s really unique in the sense that Rusty sold himself on the streets at the age of 15 years old. At that age, you know, James and I both talk a lot about this, sex is not, in that specific circumstance, sex is not an act of love; it’s an act of violence, really. That was really his first introduction into sex. So, sort of watching Rusty develop, watching Rusty now sort of assimilate himself into normal life has really been interesting, because it’s challenging, his introduction into his sexuality, viewing it as kind of a bad thing. When Rusty first came out to everyone, it was very hard for him because the only gay people he knew were bad people. It was kind of this shame he felt and this fear that there was something wrong with him that he couldn’t fix. He even says that at the end of, I believe, the end of season two. He said, “I can’t fix it, I can’t fix it.” So, watching him sort of come to terms with that and sort of really — with the help of the love and support of Captain Raydor, who’s his adopted mother, and the rest of theMajor Crimes team, really, with their support — come to terms with who he is and accepting it and really thriving in it has been the most interesting part of playing this character, I think.
GM: It’s so crazy every time. I live in Los Angeles, and people in LA are kind of too cool to approach you, so I don’t get approached that much in LA. But, if I do, like last night, my girlfriend and I were out to dinner, and some guy just walked by and was like, “You do good work.” And that was it. That’s like the most I get here. But I always say the second I pass the TSA checkpoint at LAX, when I leave LA, it’s like everybody in the world comes up to me. I get a wide range of reactions, specifically older women pinching my cheeks and viewing me like a son. They care so much about me, because they’ve been through a lot with me. They’ve been watching Rusty go through so much that they view me like a child to them. Then I’ve had other people send me messages on the Internet, because I read a lot of what fans write in. People have sent me messages and other cast-members messages and the writers messages saying like, “Hey, thank you so much for writing this Rusty character, because this is my story‚” or “This is my son’s story‚” or “This is my brother’s story,” and to see it being told just means a lot to people. I have one guy who just wrote me this really long message just saying, “Hey, Graham, I don’t want anything back from you. I don’t want a response from you. I don’t want you to send me a signed picture. I just want to tell you thank you, because Rusty’s story is my story, and seeing it told authentically is something that I’ve never witnessed before and means a lot to me.” The response that I get from people is a lot of gratitude. A lot of gratitude for this character, a lot of gratitude for being written and portrayed as sort of a real story and not so much a stereotype.
TR: In terms of your own understanding or exposure to these stories from the LGBT community, how has playing this role affected you personally?
GM: I mean, it’s definitely changed me a lot. I’m a straight guy. I have a girlfriend and this is a sort of world I’ve never really had a personal connection to. I’ve had a lot of gay friends, I’ve had gay family members, but this personal connection is something that I didn’t have before. I’ve really learned a lot. Specifically, I remember the episode where Rusty comes out to the squad. I got that script and I was like, “OK, I can play with this. I know Rusty well. This will be fine.” But I sort of realized I don’t know what it’s like to have to tell people a part of who I am and risk losing their love or their support or their friendship for it. I didn’t know what that’s like. That’s something that I, Graham, have never experienced, and I couldn’t fake. Because I’ve never experienced anything near that. I can’t imagine, for example, having to tell people that my hair is blonde‚ something that’s just a part of who I am, and that potentially meaning that I could lose those relationships or be judged for it or be rejected or disowned for it. I didn’t know what that was like, so I spoke to Phillip Keene, who is a castmate of mine, and asked him to lunch one day the week of shooting. I just asked him, “Hey man, if it’s ok with you sharing, what was your experience like?” I’m not going to get into it, because it’s personal for him, but hearing his side of it and really getting that personal connection to this experience that I have never had to go through, and I can’t imagine or fake going through, hearing that personal experience from him was really eye-opening and really powerful. I feel like we bonded, and I really sort of learned something new and was able to, I think, more authentically capture what that experience would be like.
GM: I’m really excited, because Rusty has this whole new storyline that’s unlike anything from previous seasons. It’s his first year of college and he’s really embraced journalism. Through this newfound passion, he’s taken the challenge to identify a teenage murder victim from last season who is a Jane Doe. She died last season, and her identity is not known. Rusty really takes it upon himself to start this vlog, this investigative vlog where he tries to find the identity of this girl who died a year ago without an identity. He can relate a lot to her, because she was a homeless teen, just like himself. In trying to locate her name, he’s also trying to locate himself, and trying to, I guess, sort of save her, save her identity in any way he can. I’m really excited about that. It’s a really awesome storyline. Also, I’m excited, I can’t give away too much, because we’re shooting these episodes right now, but Rusty’s first sort of real, I guess I’ll call it “an opportunity for a love interest.” That’s what I’ll call it as of now, because that’s something that’s really complex. As I’ve talked about before, Rusty’s experience with sex is not necessarily a positive one at all. We’re sort of getting to this place where he’s inching toward the idea of maybe, possible dating, and sort of the challenges that that brings. I’m excited for both of those.
Have you watched the new series of Major Crimes yet? If not why not?
This interview has been edited and condensed.
POSTED JUN 8, 2015 AT 7:30 PM EST BY BOBBY HANKINSON
“The Fosters” made history in March when the TV drama aired the youngest ever same-sex kiss on TV. At a panel for the show at ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, co-creator Peter Paige again addressed the controversy surrounding the episode and discussed how the relationship between Jude and Connor will evolve in Season 3.
“That’s never been done on television before, seeing two 13-year-olds navigate young love and they both happen to be boys,” Paige said. “Gay adults start as gay kids. … Now they’ve got to figure out how to be with each other and be with family, friends and the communities at school. So, there’s a lot for them to navigate this season.”
When the kiss was first met with backlash, Paige and co-creator Bradley Bredeweg stood staunchly by their choice. “It was time to see this, time to put this up for the world,” Bredeweg told the The Wrap.
In a sit-down interview with The Huffington Post Saturday, Paige said he was met with no hesitation from the ABC Family network prior to the episode and saw all resulting “controversy” as a small minority of particularly loud people.
“99.5 percent of people [said], ‘Oh my god, it’s so beautiful, I can’t believe it happened! I’m team Jonnor!,'” he said over drinks at the Roaring Fork restaurant. “It was one half of 1 percent of people who were disgusted.”
Paige elaborated at the panel. “The first time we received controversy was with the Jonnor kiss,” he said. “That was the first time we received backlash, and I submit again: How old were you when you had your first kiss?”
One audience member asked when Paige knew Jude would be gay, how the actors dealt with the scene and whether their real-life parents had been okay with it.
“That goes back to before he was cast,” Paige said. “Everyone who came in to test for it, it was made very, very clear where we wanted to take the story. Same with Connor. We knew all along that some version of these stories [was] going to be told and we needed people who were on board with helping us tell them.”
Lauren Duca is currently covering the ATX Television Festival for The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter @laurenduca and expect much more to come!