Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Is it Good Representation or is it Conventional?: Sex Education Season 3 Review

Welcome back to Moordale Secondary! Back by popular demand, Sex Education Season three has received mixed reviews from both fans and critics alike. Here at UT, fans are split. One group of fans believe that the show has continued to push the boundaries of representation and have succeeded in accurately representing the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, while the others find themselves disappointed in the show writers and their inability to break away from the mold that dictates LGBTQ+ character arcs and interactions in media. So, the question is: does this season of Sex Education accurately represent the LGBTQ+ community or just follow the conventional arcs for the sake of representation?

This season picks up after the summer of the last season and it’s safe to say a lot of things have changed—Maeve and Otis are no longer friends, Jean is pregnant, Headmaster Griff is no longer Headmaster and Ruby and Otis are now dating? This season introduces a whole host of new characters as well. Hope, playing the cool-teacher-gone-wrong, acts as the villain of the series, but the biggest win in terms of diversity is the introduction of Cal, a new non-binary student. The season takes a dramatic shift from the prior ones as it focuses more on the character arcs of its LGBTQ+ characters, the fan-favorite being Adam Groff.

Image courtesy Netflix; Sex Education Season 3 Episode 8

Adam begins the season in a relationship with the love of his life and ends it single and enrolled in a dog competition. If that didn’t catch you by surprise, nothing will. Adam and Eric are by far the most beloved couple on the show. Their banter is iconic and they complement each other so well. In fact, their chemistry is so strong that it made Eric leave his boyfriend, Rahim, in season two. But this season, despite having overcome a grocery list of obstacles, they break up. I may not be completely unbiased, but I’m not alone when I say this break-up hit deep. Not only did it seem uncharacteristic, but Eric was the one who initiated it after he cheated on Adam. He believed Adam wasn’t in touch with his sexuality enough to fully be in their relationship and to this I say: Are you kidding me? Adam Groff has had the most character growth in the show. He went from the high school bully to a kind and sensitive person who genuinely wanted to improve himself academically, find what he’s passionate about and be there for Eric as a partner. Eric, on the other hand, was undoubtedly the second worst character this season, which is disappointing given how great he was in the previous seasons.

Image courtesy Netflix; Sex Education Season 3 Episode 6

Not only has Eric now cheated on all the boyfriends he’s had, but he’s also done so under the belief that he’s right. This character flaw, unfortunately, perpetuates more than one harmful belief about gay relationships. Eric’s impulsivity when it comes to his relationships is so out-of-character that it paints a picture of gay relationships being inherently temporary and fragile. The writers proceed to almost erase Eric and Otis’ comradery which was what made Eric so lovable in the first place. Their friendship was an excellent representation of male platonic relationships that didn’t shy away from physicality and it was deeply missed this season.

The other prominent LGBTQ+ relationship on the show is the one between Ola and Lily.

Image courtesy Netflix; Sex Education Season 3 Episode 4

Luckily, the writers were able to avoid the stereotypes surrounding LGBTQ+ couples in this relationship. Ola and Lily are both dealing with their own crises this season, with Lily coming to terms with her inability to fit in and Ola severely missing her mother. Their relationship works because they see each other for who they are and overcome issues through communication. Lily and Ola beautifully demonstrate how even though relationships take work, they are more than worth it.

 Image courtesy Netflix; Sex Education Season 3 promo posters

Finally, Cal Bowman marks progress as the first non-binary character on the show. They make an impact by fighting against Hope’s insane rules and standing up for themselves despite being constantly berated for no reason other than their gender. Cal’s struggles not only are representative of some aspects of a non-binary person’s experience but they also evoke empathy in those unfamiliar with non-binary people. Many fans remarked that Cal’s struggles and arc helped them educate themselves and understand gender is a spectrum. Cal’s relationship with Jackson was crucial as it demonstrated how despite one’s best intentions and feelings, sexual orientation and gender are complex identities and not unidimensional. 

Overall, Sex Education is a show that is able to capture the complexities of characters’ personalities along with their identities. While it does have some flaws the show still manages to include diverse perspectives without making them look forced which in turn exposes audiences to new perspectives. Season 3 furthers the show’s narrative, introduces us to a whole host of new characters, covers complex topics of gender and sexual identity, all while keeping its audience entertained and that is a success indeed.

Featured Image Courtesy of Netflix Sex Education Promo Posters

5 Ways She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Represent LGBTQ Identities

As I’m sure most of you have experienced,  I have spent a large amount of my time stuck at home this corona-summer sniffing out hidden gems and bingeworthy TV shows on Netflix. Out of the countless movies and shows that I have binged or sampled this summer, the one that stood out the most by far was “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.” The storyline was addictive, the pastel accented animation was aesthetically pleasing, the characters are well developed, but most notably the LGBTQ+ representation was the best I have ever seen in a children’s TV show, or let’s be honest here, in practically any TV show ever. So without further ado, here are five ways the show tries to represent the LGBTQ+ community. 

Spoilers below!

5. Spinnerella and Netossa

All images courtesy of Netflix

Let’s start off with the first lesbian partnership introduced, Spinnerella and Netossa. They are married and are really affectionate towards each other, often calling each other by pet names. It is clear that they have a deep commitment to each other when one becomes brainwashed by the show’s collective antagonist, the Horde, because her wife never gives up on her. 

4. Bow’s Dads

In Season 2, Bow returns home to his parents, George and Lance, to reveal to them that he isn’t actually a university student like he has pretended to be, but is actually a soldier fighting the Horde. This episode parallels a coming out story and Bow having two fathers is never a point of contention or surprise to any of the other characters. It’s just clear that they love each other and their son. No more explanation necessary. Period.

3. Inclusion of many gender expressions, including non-binary characters

In reality, the way we express ourselves through what we wear is much more complex than “boy wears blue jeans, girl wears pink dress.” We all have so many options and ways to physically express our gender and sexuality through fashion, hair and makeup. I believe that She-Ra and the Princesses of Power do a great job at showing the different ways that people can express their gender and sexuality. For instance, the character Bow does not appeal to masculine gender norms while characters like Scorpia and Huntara are strong, muscular females whose personalities and fashion do not appeal to the stereotypical feminine gender norms. 

There is also a nonbinary character named DoubleTrouble, an androgynous shapeshifter, who goes by the pronouns “they/them.” When DoubleTrouble is introduced, their pronouns and identity is never a point of surprise or contention to the other characters of this universe. DoubleTrouble is even voiced by a nonbinary voice actor named Jacob Tobia. 

2. Heterosexual couples don’t get more airtime than homosexual couples 

This is a big one. In so many of the shows that do have homosexual couples, they usually end up being on the periphery to the main, center-stage heterosexual relationship taking place. What makes this show so appealing to all audiences is that heterosexual couples and characters don’t get more attention than LGBTQ identifying characters and couples. There is an effortless equal development and display of relationships, regardless of sexuality, that takes place in the series. 

  1. Adora and Catra get their happy ending 

Adora (She-Ra) and Catra get the number one spot in this listicle because as protagonist and antagonist, respectively, their relationship was the central driving force to the entire series. I actually felt a little guilty while watching the series finale because I thought this ending was just too good to be true. Although I knew that Adora and Catra were meant to be together, I still had my doubts over whether the producers would actually bring the two most major characters together because my mind was still believing that it was just too good to be true. Even with all of the other great representation in the show, I was still expecting the infamous film trope “bury your gays,” which refers to killing one of your gay characters or giving an unhappy ending so that the two lovers can never end up together. It’s terrible, I know, but countless films have done this to make shows more digestible to a homophobic audience. So when Catra explicitly said “I love you” and kissed Adora, I was jumping with joy along with all of the other thrilled She-Ra fans for the couple getting the happy ending that they deserved. 

Bonus: Entrapta might be an asexual/aromantic character?

There are many theories circulating online about what Entrapta could represent as a character and although never confirmed in the show, I really think she could be the show’s asexual/aromantic representation. First off, in the show she says something along the lines of that she would rather study relationships than be in one. This could just be a personality quirk of hers following the theme that she just doesn’t understand people as well as she understands robots, HOWEVER if you take a look at Entrapta’s color scheme – black, grey, white and purple – those colors match the ace pride flag. Personally, with the amount of attention to detail put into this show, I don’t think this is just a coincidence. 

Women’s Health: 10 Things the Public School System Won’t Tell You

If you’re a woman, you’ve probably experienced a lot of moments in life that angered you. You say the word “vagina” and people cringe as if you said a bad word. Anytime you show “too much” emotion, some snarky male will ask you if you’re on your period. You say you’ve lost your virginity and suddenly you’re a “sl*t” to the world while, if you lost virginity to a male, the guy is high-fiving his bros.

Well I think it’s about damn time that women’s sexuality is a part of the mainstream conversation. We have healthcare needs just as much as the next person, if not more. Unfortunately, women’s health is not talked about NEARLY enough and there are many facts that women are in the dark about.

Yes, you are late but no, you’re probably not pregnant.


Contrary to what most health websites will tell you, sexual activity can throw off your hormones and affect your period. If you used protection (birth control, condoms, IUD, etc.), DON’T PANIC if your period is a day or two late. This is especially applicable after your first time having penetrative sex. Do not panic and do NOT Google it. You will go down a very dangerous rabbit hole. However, if the days keep coming and coming and you still don’t get your period, be sure to take a pregnancy test or visit your gynecologist.


I’m not entirely sure where the “can’t get pregnant on your period” rumor came from, but it is completely untrue. Yes, it is true that it is more difficult to become pregnant while menstruating but pregnancy is still possible. Sperm can live inside you for 2-5 days so, depending on your cycle, you can conceive 4-5 days later due to early ovulation. Again, it’s unlikely but use protection to be extra safe.

Queer women’s health is often left out of the conversation

The unfortunate truth about society is that queer women are often left out of the sexual health conversation. In fact, queer women are 5%-18% less likely to be screened for STIs because of a perceived “lack of risk.” This is, of course, ridiculous because STIs can be spread through contact of mucous membranes or affected skin. Women’s sexual health needs more attention and this is especially important for queer women. 

For queer women-  You can look for an LGBTQ+ friendly healthcare professional here. Planned Parenthood, the Kind Clinic, and Q Austin also offer LGBTQ services. Dental dams and finger cots are some cheap options for having safe sex.

Always pee after sexual activity


Hopefully, you’ve heard this at least once in your life. I used to think it was an urban legend but there’s actually truth to it. Urinary tract infections are common when foreign objects, such as penises or sex toys, enter the vagina. Anything coming into the vagina can bring in bacteria so when in doubt, pee it out.

Plan B is less effective if you’re over a certain weight


If you’ve seen Aidy Bryant’s show on Hulu, “Shrill,” you’ve seen her freak out when her taking of the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill doesn’t work and she ends up pregnant. Research shows that there is truth to this scene. Several studies have shown that Plan B is less effective for women that weigh over 165-175 pounds. The results from the studies suggest that the more you weigh, the less effective the pill is. However, even though there is evidence of this finding, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have a large warning label about this risk nor is there anything regarding it on Plan B’s website. The research is ongoing but if you’re worried that Plan B won’t be as effective for you, take it anyway and have a talk with your doctor. 

Female condoms: they sound interesting but are actually not as effective as they sound when it comes to preventing pregnancy.


Female condoms, also known as “internal condoms,” are inserted inside the vagina before sexual activity. They are often used when people are allergic to latex (they’re made out of polyurethane or nitrile) or when couples don’t want to interrupt their foreplay for putting on a male condom. Although this nifty little birth control is nice for pre-sex, they can actually be very finicky when it comes time to actually have sex. When used correctly, 5 out of every 100 women will get pregnant as opposed to the 2 out of 100 women that get pregnant from using male condoms. I’ve also heard from several friends that these condoms are prone to slipping or breaking. Unless you have a good reason, it’s probably better to just stick with male condoms.

Be cautious of birth control deliveries

Having birth control delivered straight to your house sounds much better than having to go through the hassle of picking it up. However, if your birth control is delivered to your front door in the middle of a hot Texas day, it can alter the effectiveness of your pills. Birth control is the same as any medication: exposing it to the elements can affect how well they work. If you’re getting birth control delivered to you, be sure to you’re home to pick it up and bring it inside to more stable temperatures. Avoid exposing your pills to extreme heat and direct sunlight.

PCOS & Endometriosis are more common than you think

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects more than 200,000 women in the U.S. Endometriosis affects the same amount of women. Since there are over 400,000 combined cases, why haven’t we heard more about them? (*Cough cough* The patriarchy.)

On a serious note, if you think you are experiencing the symptoms of either of these conditions, speak to a healthcare professional immediately and seek treatment. You deserve to be helped, girl.

Common symptoms for PCOS:

Irregular/lack of periods, difficulty getting pregnant, excessive hair growth (especially on the face, chest, back or buttocks), weight gain, hair thinning/loss, consistent oily skin/acne

Common symptoms for endometriosis:

Extremely painful periods, pain with intercourse, pain with bowel movements or urination, infertility, excessive bleeding, constant diarrhea/constipation while on your period

Always warm-up before penetrative sex

Foreplay is nice. We know this. However, foreplay is important for other reasons besides simply feeling good. “Warming up” before sex creates lubrication in the vagina that will help make intercourse smoother and more comfortable. Foreplay also gets your vagina in the mood along with you. The more into it you are, the more open your vagina gets. Once you’re ready, your vagina will be in a more relaxed state and ready for…a meet-up, for lack of a better term.

Vaginas are meant to smell like vaginas

Don’t be self-conscious if your flower doesn’t smell like a flower. Vaginas are meant to smell natural. Several studies have shown that pH balancing washes, such as Summer’s Eve, can be damaging to your vagina’s health. The healthy pH level of your vagina should be 3.5-4.5 so that she can prevent bad bacteria from thriving. Using washes inside your vagina can throw off this balance. However, your vulva does need to be cleaned. The best way to take care of your vagina is to use warm water to clean the vulva or sensitive skin washes/cleansing cloths if you want to moisturize/freshen up down there. Here are a few washes that are OB-GYN-approved.

Resource Center:

  • Q Austin- http://theqaustin.org/
    • Offers lots of free resources (free condoms, STI testing, etc.), offers payment plans, can give recommendations to the Kind Clinic
  • The Kind Clinic- https://kindclinic.org/
    • A sexual health clinic dedicated to the treatment and prevention of STIs including access to the HIV prevention drugs PrEP and PEP
  • Planned Parenthood- https://www.plannedparenthood.org/
    • A health care provider, educator, and advocate, they deliver sexual and reproductive health care, sex education, and information
  • UT Health Services- https://healthyhorns.utexas.edu/womenshealth.html
    • Offers multiple STI testings (cost dependent on what tests you get done and whether or not you have insurance), lots of women’s health including but not limited to routine annual wellness exams (breast exams, pap smears, STI testing, etc.) and contraceptive advice, prescriptions and admins