A queer “Degrassi” primer

 
 

Granted, the whole show seems to have an after-school-special type vibe, so it would seem that the show normalizes trans issues by giving Adam’s story the same weight (and melodrama) as their other storylines — the mothers with cancer, the abusive boyfriends, the teen pregnancies, etc. After all, high school is emotional and dramatic. Some students cut and burn themselves, some swing between emotional extremes, and most try to discover who they really are — through trial and error, of course. Adam does all of those things.

Though I was nervous about a non-trans actor playing a trans character, Todosey is believable and relatable. Her Adam reminds me of what my trans friends (OK, and a beau or two) were like in high school. But her Adam reminds me of my non-trans friends, too — after all, teenagers usually share a penchant for drama. Adam is portrayed as a real high school student; I felt like he could have been one of my friends. I felt like I knew him.

And best of all, like the show’s other characters, Adam has started to get some action. In the final episodes of the fall, Adam and his brother Drew competed for the same girl, Fiona. She was drawn to Adam, but, knowing his brother liked her, Adam encouraged her to go on a date with Drew.

In turn, Drew realized that Fiona didn’t like him and encouraged her to seek out Adam instead. “He’s not like most guys,” he told her. However, instead of outing Adam to her (it’s unclear whether Fiona doesn’t know Adam is trans or is just playing dumb because she doesn’t mind), he just explained that Adam was “the best brother in the world.”

At the end of the fall finale, Adam decided to throw a party for Fiona, but she never showed up. She wasn’t at her apartment when Adam went looking, and she didn’t answer her phone. Fiona’s had some issues of her own this season, though, so her reasons for not answering may turn out to be unrelated to Adam. Take a look at this preview for tonight’s episode:

 

 

As new episodes of Degrassi kick off, I’ll be recapping Adam’s storyline. If you want to catch up and follow along, TeenNick has many of the most recent episodes available for streaming. And since I don’t know as much about the show pre-Adam, I’d love for all you Degrassi fans out there to chime in with your thoughts!

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