“The Fosters” Exclusive: Lisseth Chavez Talks Ximena’s Coming Out, Struggles, & the Episode’s Unfortunate Reality

On Tuesday night, the final season of Freeform’s The Fosters returned with a bang, and OMFGTV was able to catch up with Lisseth Chavez to discuss the Ximena-centered episode!

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Titled “Sanctuary,” the 10th episode of the season really focused on Ximena and her struggles with ICE and her DACA status, and Lisseth was thrilled to take on such an important role! “I felt honored to be able to portray such an inspiring character,” Chavez tells us, “a character that speaks on behalf of all those million of people out there trying to have a voice and fight for their rights.

“Shining light on Ximena’s story is so surreal. It was a very emotional episode to shoot because this is not a fictional issue or make-believe situation. The episode is an unfortunate reality; I mean come on, families that gave up everything to have a better life are being torn apart right now as we speak.”

A delightful little twist occurred in the episode when, while claiming sanctuary in a church, Ximena comes out as gay to Callie (Maia Mitchell). Though the setting made the coming out a little ironic, Chavez says this happened right now because “Callie and Ximena were on the topic of ‘boys’ and it was only natural for Ximena to casually tell her she’s gay. The truth was going to come out sooner or later.” The Fosters have added another POC queer character and we are all about it!

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By the end of the episode, Callie’s moms make her leave the church, and Ximena, so she can go home and continue on with her life. But for Ximena, it isn’t that easy. She must stay in that church unless she wants to risk the chance of deportation. And according to Lisseth, it’s a struggle for Ximena to just stay put. ” It’s going to be pretty tough for Ximena to NOT be able to leave the church, frustrating at times since she’s not used to being helpless, especially with her parents being taken away.”

Speaking of her parents, Lisseth shares that they mean the whole world to Ximena. “They’re a constant reminder of why she’s fighting to get her voice heard. Her parents sacrificed to come to the US for a better life, to give Ximena opportunities they never had and she will forever be thankful for that. Ximena wouldn’t be who she is now, if it wasn’t for them.” But now that they’re gone, how is that going to effect Ximena? Guess you’ll have to keep watching to find out!

The Fosters airs Tuesdays at 8pm on Freeform!