I hope I’m not being preemtively too generous with praise for the Guardian today launching Genderqueer generation, a series of stories centered on, and often told by, the children and young adults who are rejecting traditional gender identities.
Their first article on being non-binary, makes the series look promising. It begins by asking four young people to describe how they realized they were non-binary.
A growing number young people say it is up to them. Rejecting traditional markers of “male” or “female”, they prefer identifying as “genderqueer”, which refers to people who don’t fall squarely within the gender binary. Coming out as non-binary, using they/them pronouns.
Non-binary people feel they are widely misunderstood, facing prejudice. For example, Donald Trump, recently decreed that protections against healthcare discrimination were to be applied based exclusively on biology rather than one’s inner sense of gender.
Recently I finished watching the Netflix series “Sex Education”.
If you haven’t seen the series yet and don’t want any spoilers, best not read any further. Though I don’t really discuss any plot angles. I will say I was surprised to see one story line from 10 Things I Hate About You. Just go and watch it and come back here after 😊. Be aware it’s been given an 18 rating in the UK. Nudity from the opening scene. Strong language throughout. The story revolves around Otis giving sex therapy to various of his school peers, having picked up things from his Mum, who is a qualified and practicing sex therapist.
Made in South Wales, the location for the filming was the University of South Wales’ old Caerleon campus, which was closed in 2016. Despite this and the actors being from the UK, the setting is made to appear as if in a US high school. Bit confusing initially. Doesn’t distract too much.
Is it a comedy? Well, yes and no. There are many scenes that had me laughing out loud. There are many scenes that show the pain of being a teenager – bullying, not being part of the “in crowd”, coming to accept your gender and sexuality, not feeling adequate enough, clever enough, cool enough, affection not being returned by someone you fancy.
There are so many aspects of gender, sex and sexuality portrayed. With sex being biopsychosocial (biology, psychology and social) the series demonstrates this complexity. The following is a list (not in any particular order) of things I noticed that were touched on. Some in more detail than others. If I’ve missed any please comment so I can update here, listed alphabetically, rather than to try another kind of order.
Complexity of family and friends relationships
Owning your sexuality and gender
Sex and relationship therapy
The title of the series being sex education, wouldn’t it be wonderful if sex education in our UK schools covered the subjects listed above in depth. Perhaps then the difficult experiences of many teenagers regarding sex and relationships could be avoided.
Would I recommend watching it? Yes. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I would recommend it.