The FFA/Degrassi controversy is continuing to make headlines this week. Various media outlets have commented on the situation, showing their support for Degrassi, and giving their thoughts on why this is still an issue. The Much Music article in particular, written by Much contributor Allison, goes beyond the FFA controversy and discusses the impact Degrassi has had on generations of young people. Here is some of what Xtra, Perez Hilton, and even Much Music had to say.
Xtra: Conservative group slams transgender plot line
During the two-part transgender episode, the organization Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) ran a public-service announcement and an online educational program on its website.
All I can say is thank goodness that for every rightwing bigot out there, there is also someone with an open mind and a willingness to educate people on different lifestyles and the struggles that many of us go through.
Perez Hilton: Boo! Florida Family Association Boycotts Degrassi Due To Gay/Transgender Characters
We continue to thank you for supporting an important cause and helping spread awareness/understanding about gay and transgender issues, Teen Nick!
As for the Florida Family Association, we can only hope that one of these days they’ll come to their senses and realize that they’ve been acting out of ignorance. Such a shame!
Much Music: Sex, Drugs, and Degrassi: Why We Need To Keep The TV On
In its 30 years on air it would seem that Degrassi has covered every topic imaginable. From the death of parents to the death of classmates, domestic abuse, homelessness, bullying and more, it was difficult to believe that any waters had been left unchartered by the Epitome production company. That was until the tenth season of the new generation hit MuchMusic and Teen Nick last fall and viewers met Adam Torres, played by the brilliant Jordy Todosey, the first transgender character on youth programming. Suddenly, Degrassi was once again reminding viewers and critics why the longevity, praise and loyalty that had followed the little show from Toronto was more than warranted – Degrassi was and is the institution that gives a voice to the voiceless in mainstream media.
The outpouring of support and acceptance of Adam’s character has been undeniable. When the episode My Body is a Cage aired, viewers discovered that Adam had been born Gracie and transferred to Degrassi as a result of bullying received because of his transgender identity. On the MuchMusic website viewers expressed compassion and understanding for the teenage character, with many relieved to finally see their struggle identified by a character on TV.
How has Degrassi impacted your life? Is there one particular storyline that made you look at things differently? Can you relate to a particular character? Send your story to DegrassiTalks@gmail.com, and we’ll share some of our favourites.