Gavin MacIntosh’s first regular television role has provided the young actor with an extensive education on LGBTI issues.
The lessons have come through playing Connor on ABC Family’s acclaimed series The Fosters, a character who has gotten involved romantically with his best friend Jude (Hayden Byerly).
‘I learn more and more and become more educated on these issues,’ the actor tells Huffington Post. ‘The show has taught me as a person so much about the struggles and also the positives that are going on. … From the get-go, I kind of knew that it was something that was different.’
The teen romance between the two 13-year-old characters is a hit with the show’s fans who have given the couple the moniker ‘Jonnor.’
MacIntosh, 16, says of the fan reaction: ‘It’s amazing to see the impact that it has on people. The power of Connor and Jude’s relationship just astonishes me.’
Connor and Jude’s first kiss last season (see video below) is thought to be the youngest same-sex kiss in television history and was initially banned by YouTube.
MacIntosh, who is straight in real life, spoke out against the ban which was later lifted.
‘I really don’t think that it matters too much if you’re straight playing a gay character or if you’re gay playing a straight character,’ he says. ‘I don’t really think that it matters.’