(CNN) — The two leads in MTV’s “Faking It” spent Season 1 pretending to be lesbians. Now they’ve been joined by an intersex character.
On the show’s second-season premiere Tuesday, Lauren — stepsister of show protagonist Amy — was revealed to be intersex, a person who is born with both male and female chromosomes. The character, played by Bailey De Young, concluded last season with others gossiping about pills she was taking.
The pills turn out to be hormones for Lauren’s Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. People with the condition are genetically male — they have X and Y chromosome pairs — but are “unable to respond to certain male sex hormones (called androgens), (so) they may have mostly female sex characteristics or signs of both male and female sexual development,” according to the National Institutes of Health’s Genetic Home Reference.
“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,” show developer Carter Covington told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month. “For Lauren, being born intersex is going to be something she’s going to struggle to accept and then struggle to defend in her life.”
Covington also observes that this isn’t just a one-off gimmick for “Faking It.”
“It’s a series-long storyline,” he said.
™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.