‘The Fosters’: Hayden Byerly Reveals Jude Was Originally Transgender

The young star talks about #Jonnor, that kiss, and what it means to suddenly become a gay icon


Hayden Byerly just dropped a major FOSTERS bombshell:  Jude was originally transgender!

“You might remember this from the pilot — there was a phone call that Callie [Maia Mitchell] got from Jude,” the young star explains.

“He said that he had been beat up by their current foster dad because he was caught wearing one of his mom’s dresses.  That was something that was kind of interesting, but wasn’t really touched on any more.

“Originally Jude was going to go down the path of being transgender.”

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According to Hayden, show creators Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige wanted the 13 year-old character “to [explore] if he felt like he was a man or a woman in a man’s body.”

“But they decided that they would touch on that in a different section of the show and that they would want to try and make Jude a character who was exploring his sexuality and confused about his sexual preference.”

Hayden and guest star Gavin MacIntosh have quickly become the new faces of gay youth in America thanks to the the heartwarming romance their characters have developed on THE FOSTERS.

What began as simple flirtation set social media ablaze last week when the two actors (who are both straight) shared what is believed to be television’s youngest same sex kiss.

“It means so much to so many people out there that there are people are on television who are like them,” Hayden says.

“They see themselves in Jude.  And they can watch TV have this be in front of millions of people all around the world and have them look at this person and say, ‘that’s me.’  That it is something that is not wrong, that is accepted.  That so many people feel this way, that is so important to me and is something I am very thankful to be a part of.”

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Now, #Jonnor nation is holding it collective breath after gun shots were fired in the final moments of Monday night’s (March 9) episode.

Is Connor dead?

“The latest episode of @TheFostersABCF has left me in shock, literally screaming at the TV!” one fan posted on Twitter. “I need to know what happens! #Jonnor

“All I am allowed to say is that there was a gun shot and that someone did get hurt,” Hayden teases.

“Whether that means that someone died or someone was just injured, you can think for yourself.”

Here’s more of what Hayden shared about himself and the show in an exclusive interview with TheTVPage.com:

Are you following along with all the #Jonnor talk online?
I am trying.  There is so much that it is hard for one man to keep up with it all!  I am checking all the stuff out online and I am getting calls from my grandparents and my dad.  My family is in Colorado so they are calling saying there is stuff in the news about it there.

Do you think Jude is gay or bisexual or just experimenting?
As of right now it looks like Jude is gay.  We saw Jude and Connor kiss and Jude wasn’t disgusted and didn’t pull away.  Then Taylor tried to kiss him and he didn’t want that.  So as of right now I would say Jude is gay.

You are not gay.  So what is it like for you to be going through this — especially with your good friend Gavin?
It was a little weird.  But when you know you are doing it for so many people and it is such a good thing you are doing, and you are helping so many people around the world, it really doesn’t matter.  You do it for everyone around you.  For everyone who looks up to the character and everyone who looks up to the show.

That kiss changed everything.  Was that your first?
No.  I have kissed someone off set in my personal life.

Do you have a girlfriend?
I don’t have a girlfriend.  But I do have someone who is kind of like a crush of mine.

How would you like to see Jude’s journey unfold.
I am sure eventually Jude will come out to his family and let them know how he feels.  I am kid of excited to see how he tells them and how they accept it.  Or if they accept it.  I am excited to see him really understand who he is and really let everyone know that is what he likes and how he feels.

Tell us more about your friendship with Gavin.
We hang out all the time.  We live right next to each other.  We are literally three or four blocks away.  We both love to skateboard, so if I am ever board I can skate over to his house or he can come to mine.  We just hang out.  I am a big fan of video games.  I kind of got Gavin on that, too.  He is hooked on Call of Duty and I am a big fan of the new game called Destiny.  We both kind of have our own little games that we like to play.  We both kind of play with each other and hang out.  It’s cool.  It’s like a typical friendship.  It’s not weird or awkward because of the things we do on set or because of the characters we portray.

Besides Jonnor, what is your favorite storyline on THE FOSTERS?
My favorite character besides Jude has always been Brandon.  I love the story line that he has had and the struggle he has had with his dad.  Him choosing what he wants to do when he gets older —  there are so many things I like about his storyline.

What about Callie and Brandon?  Do you think there is a universe where they should end up together somehow?
I mean… I always think that whether or not it it is necessarily right, I believe everyone should be happy.  I think that sometimes my inner Jude comes out and is like “No, they can’t be together or Callie won’t get adopted!”  But I think that if they are happy together and they truly love one another, I think that is something that should exist between the two of them.

THE FOSTERS airs Monday nights on ABC Family.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly