Representation Matters

‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Is Giving Us the Nonbinary Representation We Need

Has any TV series ever captured the whims and pitfalls of summer love as beautifully as The Summer I Turned Pretty? The Prime Video series, based on Jenny Han’s beloved coming-of-age novels, is heating up like an August day, with its Season 2 finale dropping this Friday. We, of course, have thoughts: Is Belly really going to choose her first crush Conrad over his brother (and bisexual king) Jeremiah again? 

More importantly: what’s next for Skye, the series’ first nonbinary character portrayed by the uber talented Elsie Fisher? 

Although Skye wasn’t a part of the books, their inclusion was important to Han, who strived to make the show as diverse as possible. As Jeremiah and Conrad’s cousin, Skye has been pivotal in helping the gang save their beloved Cousins beach house, making quick math computations, serving queer sass, and building the occasional apple bong. 

They’ve reconnected with their family and even found a romance of their own with aptly named cutie Cam Cameron (David Iacono), who they shared their first kiss with. For the record, their OTP name is Skym, and it’s adorable.

This level of nonbinary visibility is rare in a coming-of-age series, especially ones famously known for hetero makeout montages to Taylor Swift songs. (We love you, Tay!) It also meant a lot to Fisher, who hadn’t seen this kind of character anywhere else.

“Skye being nonbinary felt important because I think trans people in general, but specifically people who don’t fit into ‘male’ or ‘female,’ can be portrayed as very ‘other than’ and don’t always have those happy endings or any sort of connection to others,” the Eighth Grade star told the LA Times. “It felt important to tell a story that didn’t feel forced and, I think, feels very true to how life works out.”

That doesn’t mean everyone has understood the significance. Back in July, Han (who also serves as showrunner) took to Instagram Stories to seemingly address a handful of TikToks criticizing Skye for being cringy as well as hateful comments on Fisher’s Instagram, based solely on the character. “The Summer I Turned Pretty community is one of inclusivity,” Han wrote. “The hurtful comments directed at cast are not in the spirit of the show. Please be mindful of what you’re putting out there and of who is seeing it.”

Say it!

If we could get a message to Skye (and Fisher), we’d say forget the haters because representation matters. Our fingers are crossed that Skye and Cam stay in touch after this magical summer, but we’ll have to wait and see when the Season 2 finale drops this Friday.

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