"Degrassi" has always been considered groundbreaking, whether its plotlines involve bullying, teenage pregnancy, a character discovering he has AIDS, or seeing Joey Jeremiah's bare bum in the school cafeteria. Of course, that was the '80s; fast-forward to 2012 and the series (that has been around for 11 seasons) is still telling controversial stories while managing to remain popular at the same time.
GLAAD, which honours outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that inspire change, is recognizing "Degrassi'"s efforts. The show has received a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, alongside "Grey's Anatomy," "Pretty Little Liars," "Shameless" and "Torchwood: Miracle Day."
This marks Degrassi's fourth GLAAD nomination. The series received a nod last year, as well as in 2004 and 2008, when it was still known as "Degrassi: The Next Generation."
"Degrassi" has always featured real-life teen dilemmas without the after-school special factor. It tells its stories from an average teenager's point of view, and not one who resides in 90210 or Tree Hill, enabling it to connect with actual teens leading similar lives.
The cult hit is known for taking huge, bold risks, and its approach to tackling sexuality in a refreshingly liberal way is no different. Last season, the show introduced Adam Torres, a female-to-male transgender teen who was outed, struggled with gender dysphoria, dated Fiona Coyne, and was accidentally shot.
But that's just one example. Really, the best part about "Degrassi" has always been its relatability (no matter how much some parents don't want it to be), its fleshed-out, diverse characters, and the way it tells relevant issues and heartwarming stories. As long as that keeps happening, "Degrassi" can look forward to being recognized for many years to come.