The non-binary gender character Carl in "Sex Study Room", although the scenes are not as many as the main role, but the appearance of non-binary people in film and television is a precious thing, let us see through Carl's eyes the daily life experienced by underrepresented groups.

* Dua Saleh, the actor who plays Carl in "Sex Study Room", is also a non-binary person in real life, and the pronouns identified by Dua Saleh in and out of the play are their "they/them", so this article tries to use this pronoun, the "they" mentioned below refer to Carl, let's practice using personal habitual pronouns to refer to him/her/them...

"Sex Study Room" ushered in the final season, introducing the role of non-binary Carl in the third and fourth seasons.

Cal, a freshman at Moordale High School, gently and firmly corrected Principal Michael Groff's words when he introduced himself, referring to Carl as "she" when he introduced him, to which Carl said, "My synonym is them."

This initiative demonstrates the significance of its role – to bring non-binary people back together. Although Carl is not the protagonist, nor is there as many scenes as the emotional line between Otis and Maeve, Adam's reconciliation with himself, etc., we can see the position and plight of non-binary people in society through Carl's eyes from those seemingly casual fragments.

(Guess what you want to watch: Watch the fourth season of "Sex Study Room" once!) 5 Golden Sentences Analysis: Adam's Path to Healing, Otis's Reconciliation)

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The struggles and intimacy of non-binary Carl

The attraction of "Sex Study Room" is that each character seems to be "fickle", and perhaps the next time the character appears in the camera, it will break the character's understanding of himself in the previous episodes, including Ola (Ola) who is heterosexual to gay, from non-binary to male Carl, etc., just as sexual orientation is a fluid routine, no character has a "fixed" and "always" look, Karl is the same.

Although Carl, who has not yet formed, debuted in a confident appearance to explain his identity, behind the seemingly clear positioning, there is actually a lot of self-doubt and the outside world's lack of understanding of non-binary people.

First of all, in the third season of "Sex Study Room", we see the simple violence of Morday High School according to the sex, binary rules that students need to wear.

For Carl, because his biological gender is female, he is required to wear a women's uniform in the women's locker room, and from this seemingly random detail, we see that "Sex Study Room" is actually trying to capture the struggles and discomforts experienced by non-binary people when trying to understand their relationship with their bodies and comfortably share the boundaries of their bodies with others.

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When Carl talks about not wanting to wear clothes that are too tight, we can know that uniforms are not just about male or female uniforms for Carl, or any non-binary or gay person, but about identity and how to find a way to live comfortably in space.

In addition to showing its own suspicion and confusion, the sex study room also tries to present the intimate relationship of non-binary people. In season three, Carl and Jackson fall in love, but their relationship is full of misunderstandings.

When Carl is not sure who he is not binary, and Jackson is faced with doubts about whether he will have queer status with Carl, Carl replied: "I'm still thinking a lot about myself and don't know the answer yet, so I can't help you." Let's see that when non-binary people deconstruct the gender identity they have cultivated since childhood in order to dig out a new understanding of themselves, they can't immediately understand what it means to enter an intimate relationship, especially in an environment where the outside world can't see your full face, and the chaos is not difficult to imagine.

(Same scene plus screening: What is asexuality?) Watching the love of asexual characters from Netflix's "Love Course" and "Sex Study Room" is equally exciting!

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The long wait for transgender surgery

Carl in the fourth season of "Sex Study Room" was already determined to identify as a man more than a woman, so when they turned 18, they started taking testosterone.

Six months after taking the drug, although Carl noticed and was pleased with the significant changes in his voice and appearance, the gradual appearance of male sexual characteristics, and the sudden onset of menstruation, when they appeared in the same body, caused their gender dysphoria to reach a high point, they no longer felt like themselves, and their lives began to spiral out of control.

Carl, who felt confused about unfamiliar physiological phenomena, became more and more excited about flat chest surgery, but in the conversation with transgender Roman, it was shown that in addition to the high cost of surgery of 10,000 pounds (about NT$400,000), the long waiting time also made many people who established their gender identity turn to secret medical assistance, and gender reassignment surgery tends to go underground.

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Anti-transgender rhetoric peaks in the UK

It is worth noting that the fourth season of "Sex Study Room" aired at a time when anti-transgender speech in the UK reached new heights, according to the latest British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA) report, showing a significant increase in anti-transgender views in the UK.

64 percent said they were completely unbiased against transgender people, down 18 percentage points since 2019 (82 percent), and only 30 percent said they could change their gender on their birth certificate if they wished, down from 53 percent in 2019.

Susie Green, chief executive of Mermaids, a UK-based gender identity charity, also said of today's gender reassignment surgery that the seemingly lengthy procedure is based on years of research, "waiting times are much more than two years, and when young people start receiving services, it takes a year to consider medical intervention, the process is very detailed, and the recipient receives a lot of information about the quality of any drug, the expected results."

At a time when the environment is relatively unsupportive of transgender people, the launch of "Sex Study Room" is like a shot in the arm, Carl can use it as a projection to let people who are confused and suffering know that there are people in this world who are experiencing the same thing, you are not alone; And "Sex Study Room" presents the diverse life patterns of queer people in an open and understanding way, and let the public understand that there is no specific or correct way to become queer.

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TV writer Krishna Istha said that "we have long realized that a non-binary, transgender character cannot have everything" and that the purpose of "Sex Study Room" is important to convey "representation", because if you can't see your version, you may not know that you can exist in a particular way. You may think you're just an individual, but there are actually a lot of different people who have had this experience.

Moreover, what makes Carl's story powerful is that it is so apt that it does not follow a simple narrative from shame to pride, because they are never ashamed; They never need to be ashamed.

Even if their relationship with Jackson is no longer there, none of this will destroy Carl's identity or expression, as he says: "I bind my chest and feel no shame." May all people be confident that regardless of our gender identity, we always have the right to explore and cherish ourselves.