MTV is slated to go where few other networks have gone before when it includes an intersex character on the second season of the popular scripted series "Faking It."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lauren, a character played by Bailey De Young on the show, became the subject of rumors at the end of the series' last season due to her use of "mysterious pills." The show's second season will premiere with the revelation that De Young's character is intersex and the pills are hormones, an idea that developer Carter Covington reportedly pitched to producers before the show's inception.
Intersexuality is an umbrella term for a condition in which an individual is born with anatomy that falls outside of traditional understandings of "male-bodied" and "female-bodied." The conditions grouped under this term "include androgen insensitivity syndrome, some forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Klinefelter’s syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, hypospadias, and many others," according to Advocates for Informed Choice.
Somewhere between one in every 1,500 and one in every 2,000 people are reportedly born with intersex characteristics. Organisation Intersex International Australia "recommends a midrange figure of 1.7 percent."
"Part of the overall theme of Faking It is how hard it is to be your authentic self and how important it is to strive to do that," Covington told The Hollywood Reporter. "What I love about Lauren’s journey is that it's so relatable. When it comes down to it she wonders: Will people know the real her or will they reject her? That's something that everybody feels at some point. We all have worries that if we show someone else what's going on inside that we'll get rejected."
Head here to read the full interview with Covington.
"Faking It" returns to MTV on September 23 at 10:30pm ET. Watch the trailer for the second season above and head here for more info.
Clarification: The Intersex Society of North America no longer operates. However, its website "remains up as a historical artifact." For more information on Intersex people and communities, visit Organisation Intersex International Australia. A previous version of this article also credited Carter Covington with creating "Faking It"; he is credited as the show's developer.