As part of a new campaign on Freeform.com where fans can share their stories about how The Fosters has impacted their lives, the family drama’s executive producer Jennifer Lopez shares her own feeling about why the show is important to her family.
When I was growing up in the Bronx, I always thought my aunt Myrza was the coolest.
She lived in N.Y.C. and wanted to be an actress. I loved going into the city and spending time with her and hearing about her hopes and dreams. I wanted to be just like her.
What I didn’t realize was that she was struggling with being gay.
At that time, families didn’t sit around a dinner table and talk about tolerance and acceptance. Life was different and it is heartbreaking for me to think about it now.
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The people she watched on TV didn’t represent her. Movies didn’t represent her. She thought she was alone.
When the opportunity to produce The Fosters first came my way, I was a bit hesitant. I knew the show would be controversial. Being in the public eye, these sorts of things go through your head.
But then I thought about Myrza. This could be that show she didn’t have growing up. A show that holds a mirror to society and shines a light on what love looks like.
It doesn’t matter your race or sexual orientation. Love is love.
It turns out I was right, The Fosters is about to celebrate its 100th episode. Myzra isn’t with us anymore, but I like to think she is proudly looking down on me from above … the way I always looked up to her.
Season 5 of The Fosters premieres July 11 on Freeform.