gemified | March 6th, 2012 - 12:00 am

Greatest Moments of ABM –

The Non-Teenage Moments

By Gemma Jacob

There is understandably much praise given to the young cast members of ABM. They often feature amongst the list of nominees in various awards and deserve the recognition for their portrayals. Whilst it may not be the immediate focus of many of ABM’s younger audience, the relationships with and between the older characters adds an insightful, and often amusing, perspective.

We could all see the change in Aster once she started seeing Dr Glass and had an adult figure in her life that she respected and could open up to. Vivian is a credit to her father, Gabe, and the trust he has for his daughter is an example to many parents. And where would any of them be without Aunt Jodie’s constant endearing attempts to be cool?

Here are some of the very best moments in which the non-teenage characters have shined:

1. Gabe’s (non)reaction to Vivian and Aster’s goodbye kiss

There is one scene often cited as being the moment people knew that ABM would be something different, and that is the moment Gabe does not react to Vivian and Aster’s goodbye kiss. Unlike so many other shows involving a parent-LGBTQ child relationship, Vivian’s sexuality is not an issue with Gabe. After Vivian kisses Aster goodbye and gets in the truck the only concern Gabe has is how hard this move will be on his daughter, not that the person she will miss the most is her girlfriend.

I am sure that for many, this was the first positive portrayal of a relationship between a parent and their gay child they had seen. So often the media portrays this as a difficult relationship with the parent unable to accept their child’s sexuality or the child unable to be honest about whom they are; because ABM chooses to be different this scene remains the first of many perfect ABM moments.

2. Aunt Jodie’s reaction to Vivian coming out

For any parent (and let’s face it, that’s what Aunt Jodie is to Vivian), having your child come out to you is going to be overwhelming, especially if it is completely unexpected. Aunt Jodie’s innocence when Vivian tells her that she and Aster are more than just friends is characteristic of their entire relationship. She has strived to be the person that Vivian can come to, no matter what is on her mind, and it is her own failing in being that person which she is most upset about. Aunt Jodie is hurt that Vivian has kept such an obviously big part of who she is hidden, and when Vivian asks her if she’s okay she gives the most honest answer she can, “No. But I will be.”

When you take the decision to come out to your friends and family, this is the reaction you allow yourself to realistically hope for. Of course you want the acceptance that Gabe gives his daughter, but people are usually more realistic about things, and the reality is that not everyone is okay with something different. You know that it can be hard thing to accept, and you are willing to give people time, and you hope that eventually they will learn to accept you. For anyone in a similar situation, whether they are the Aunt Jodie or the Vivian, this moment should be played over and over again. This is not a world where everything is easy all the time, far from it, but the belief that they will be better again, that is part of what makes the stories of ABM so important, and relevant.

3. Aunt Jodie’s P-Flag video

Who can ever forget Aunt Jodie’s, “Hello P-Flag!” moment? If we were ever worried that Aunt Jodie wasn’t handling the fact that her niece was gay well, then this moment erased all of our fears. In a way only Aunt Jodie could, she gave us one of the lighter, and still touching, moments of S3. Her reaching out to a community that she did not know she was a part of, not only to offer other kids and adults who are going through similar situations support, but also as a possible way to find someone new for Vivian, is simply priceless.

When Vivian asks her not to make her, her cause it is because she does not want her sexuality everything her aunt sees in her. She appreciates the support, and we love Aunt Jodie because she wants to help and be there for her niece, but she doesn’t want anything to change between them. So much has already changed for Vivian, and sometimes we need that constant presence of someone we know that cares about us, to see us as they always have. As always, Aunt Jodie is everything Vivian needs her to be.

4. Dr. Glass coming out and going into labour

Dr Glass has always been one of the more approachable older characters in ABM. Not being a parental figure, Aster feels happy to open up to her during their therapy sessions and talks openly with her about her fears about her relationships – not just with Vivian, but with her family. Dr Glass, as with all good listeners, gives the person talking the time to realise that they already know the answers to all of their own questions. However, in S2 she does not have the luxury of waiting for Vivian and Aster to realise that she is going into labour and has to cut their therapy session short in one of the most direct coming outs in ABM.

Dr Glass nonchalantly tells Vivian and Aster, “Now you’ve got to scram because my wife is coming to pick me up and we’re going to meet Charlie.” As viewers, we are as happy and surprised at the revelation, and it makes us love Dr Glass even more. It is not that we are pleased that Dr Glass has a wife, although that is part of it, but more so that she has not felt the need to use that fact in her therapy sessions with Aster in order for her to appear more relatable. This moment shows us that coming out can be on your own terms, and it does not have to be dramatic. It can simply be a statement of fact that comes as a wonderful surprise. And for once, an episode ending in a shocked Vivian and Aster is a very good thing.

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