MTV’s Faking It has been inclusive from the start—spotlighting the complicated relationships between straight teen Karma and her lesbian BFF Amy, their out friend Shane and intersex classmate Lauren.
Now the show is making history by featuring television’s first intersex character played by an intersex actor: On the April 5 episode, “Jagged Little Heart,” Amanda Saenz debuts as Raven, a youth advocate who helps Lauren connect with the intersex community.
In the episode, Amy decides to make a documentary about Lauren to keep her mind off Karma, who has formed a band with Shane.
“Walking onto a studio set was perhaps one of the more surreal things that I’ve done in my life,” says Saenz, a member of the advocacy group interAct.
“I’m so excited that the intersex community is growing more and more visible, and that our movement is building momentum.”
Intersex representation is rare in the media landscape, and is usually disingenuous or sensationalized. But Faking It creator Carter Covington consulted with interACT from the start of Lauren’s storyline to make sure it was accurate and respectful.
“Being portrayed in an honest fashion is something that we have been fighting for for a long time,” Saenz explains.
The show is also adding a trans teen character, Noah (Elliot Fletcher), increasing its commitment to diversity even further.
Watch an all-new episode of Faking It, Tuesday, April 5, at 10:30/9:30c on MTV.