MTV's 'Faking It' will break new ground with an intersex story in new season

WARNING: This post contains spoilers.

The MTV comedy Faking It ended its first season with several cliffhangers, one of which was the question of why queen bee Lauren (Bailey De Young) was taking pills. The answer came during last Friday's PaleyFest Fall TV Preview screening of the season premiere when audiences learn Lauren is intersex and has been taking hormone pills. Her storyline for the season, exploring what it's like to be born intersex, will break new ground for television audiences when the new season premieres September 23 on MTV.

An estimated one in every 2,000 people is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy and/or a chromosome pattern that doesn't fit the typical male or female definition. The conditions that cause these variations are intersex traits or Differences of Sex Development (DSD). Lauren's character was born with Androgen Insensitive Syndrome, one of over 30 intersex conditions. Learn more at intersex youth advocacy group Inter/Act's page.

"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. At the beginning of last season, we were discussing in the writers room what that could be and we stumbled on, 'What if she were born intersex?'" Executive Producer Carter Covington told The Hollywood Reporter of his decision to tell Lauren's story. "[…] We felt like it was a no brainer because it really frames who Lauren is and why she has walls up, why she is hyper-feminine and why she is who she is. It's a story I've never heard told before, and our show is all about showing the diversity of experiences that young people are faced with today."

The Faking It cast and crew worked with consultants from intersex youth advocacy group Inter/Act and their parent organization Advocates for Informed Choice to develop Lauren's story and the stories of those in the online support group her character joins. Inter/Act is the first intersex youth advocacy organization. GLAAD has also consulted with Faking It around the story of lead characters Amy and Karma, two best friends mistaken for a lesbian couple who go along with the lie to be popular before Amy comes to develop real feelings for her friend.

"People want to create TV that touches people and that shows a different subset. I'm always excited as a writer when there is an experience I can relate to, and MTV wanted programming that touches people and moves people," said Covington. "What I hope the show does is show it's OK to be gay, straight, to not know where you are on the spectrum and explore. It's OK to make mistakes, but it’s a part of growing up and figuring out who you are. I don’t think that’s a process that ends when you’re 18 or 21, it goes on your whole life."

Faking It's second season will premiere on MTV Tuesday, September 23 at 10:30pm. Watch the full first season at now.