Can we talk about that sense 8 final?
Sense 8 has quickly become one of if not the favourite series for me. Anything with telepathy and inhabiting each other’s bodies is also already a winner for me but then they also show so much diversity and the LGBTQ+ community is so well portrayed, that has made the series rise up to number one. Plus let’s not forget about the amazing storyline, but that was a given.
For those of you haven’t watched the series, it’s about 8 people from completely different places in the world who are all connected to each other. They are part of a cluster and have a cluster mum, and they are not the only cluster that exists. During the series we see them all discover the fact that they’re sensates (someone who can be emotionally and mentally linked with someone else, who can share each others knowledge), discovering how it works, how to use it and eventually together they have to fight a company called BPO who is seeking out sensates to do tests on and kill them in the process.
Apart from this amazing storyline the directors also have not been shy to incorporate a lot of things other series generally shy away from. Which is what I talk about in this post.
I was gutted when I heard they stopped after the second season, but I wasn’t surprised because god forbid if there is ever any kind of diversity or if the LGTBQ+ community get any kind of representation anywhere.
Thankfully the fandom blew up on twitter and Netflix had no choice but to make a final episode.
Whilst watching this final episode I was a) crying, and you’re lying if you weren’t and b) thinking of all the amazing things sense 8 represents and has taught us during these two magnificent seasons.
8 lessons from Sense 8
Warning: Spoiler alert
Family is important
During the whole series the focus is obviously mainly on the cluster but we do get an insight into everyone’s personal lives, including their families. Not everyone’s family on the show is equally as loving and accepting of their sensates although some do come around, Nomi’s father for example finally addressing her as his daughter. Some don’t think their parents are going to be as accepting, such as Lito but her mother could never have been prouder when he announces he’s gay.
Then there’s also families that are not so worthy of having the same name as a special human being, such as Sun. Her father and brother have done nothing but tear her down whilst she’s done nothing but give unconditional love to them, up to a point. To these families I say you leave them and you make your own. Or in the case of sense 8, a family is made for you.
Because the cluster that they’re in is a family for them, a family that is just as important or even more important in some cases than their blood relatives.
Family is important, but it’s also important that they accept and respect you for who you are, and if they can’t, find a new family that will.
Your identity is valid
In the series we get to know Nomi, who used to be called Micheal and we are told about how she always felt different to the other boys, was bullied for it massively and one day, after being burnt in the shower in the boy’s locker room, found out why she felt different.
It was because she was a girl, shocker.
I think the show has done really well in showing a strong (trans) woman, all the difficulties and obstacles she has to face – which are mostly from her family fyi – but also that she is definitely worthy of love, which we get to see oh so clearly. Nomi shows everyone that whatever your identity, which btw is all up to you to choose what your identity is, you are worthy of love and affection and you are definitely a worthy human being, even if it takes some time for people to accept you for who you are.
Every sexual orientation is valid
Same for identity, every sexuality is also valid. Both Nomi and Lito are gay, one being more open than the other. Again they’ve showed two sides to the story. Nomi is gay and has come out of the closet whilst Lito is still struggling because of his acting career, but eventually sees that even though coming out has come with its struggles, it’s definitely the better way to go for him.
All sexual orientations are valid, this includes any single one on the LGBTQ+ list, not just the ones shown on this show.
Because even though they are really inclusive, there’s a definitely a much wider range to the LGBTQ+ community that doesn’t just end with transexuals and homosexuals, but they definitely did a great job being inclusive.
There is nothing wrong with sex
I feel like in this world we are led to believe that having sex is bad, or at least other sex than sex between two heterosexuals. This is not the case though. Any consensual sex (excluding maybe with minors) is totally okay. This includes girl with girl, boy with boy, boy with girl with boy, girl with boy with girl, if it’s all consensual it’s fine.
And it doesn’t have to be like we see on those porn sites. It can be in a very loving way.
In the show we are shown two orgies which are essentially happening through their sensait capabilities. At the end of the finale there’s also several threesomes going on, including with one person who has never experienced such a thing before. He even says “I didn’t know this was possible”. Overall the series doesn’t shy away from showing sexual scenes, because there’s nothing wrong with it and it gives us an opportunity to start talking about sex and different kinds of sex more openly.
We are all diverse
There is no one side to us. We are not only one thing or only another thing. What makes us humans so interesting is that we are a huge combination of different things, meaning we are all unique and no two people will ever be completely the same. We are intersexual.
Intersexual isn’t some weird sex position or anything. The term refers to the fact that we have different qualities to us which you can’t put into boxes or separate from each other. So for example I am a white girl, heterosexual, normal height, brunette, Dutch, brought up in Spain, etc etc. All these qualities work together to make me and all those qualities are not exclusive. This is a very simple explanation.
The reason I’m explaining this term is that we should all embrace our uniqueness. Why would we want to be another floating head in a massive crowd of down-looking faces. Be that one head with blue hair, looking up, taking in the world (or in the case of the sensates, 8 different parts of the world). We are all diverse so let’s embrace our diverse selves, embrace our uniqueness.
Diversity is important
How often do you look on the street and see only one type of person? Especially if you live in a city this is hardly ever the case. Me just looking outside now I can see white people, Asians, an African American man, blondes, brunettes, redheads, you name it you can probably find someone within a so many mile radius. Yet we are hardly ever shown diversity in films and series.
Sense 8 is showing SO much diversity. Within the 8 sensates there is an Asian woman, an African man and an Indian woman. And that’s just within the sensates, I haven’t even talked about the whole series yet.
This is exactly how any movie or series that isn’t based on true events needs to be. It’s unrealistic to only see the same white heterosexual couple, unrealistic and unfair to everyone who doesn’t fit that mould. And people want change, so why isn’t it here yet? I think sense 8 can definitely be a start to this.
As is acceptance
It’s important to show a variety of different people, but it’s also important as a public to accept this variety of different people. The show touches upon Lito’s fans and agency not supporting him anymore since he came out gay. We also see Nomi’s parents not supporting her decision to become a woman.
We also see all of these people eventually accepting Lito and Nomi for who they are. Their story is a representation of a lot of stories in the real world, except here they don’t always have that happy ending.
Accepting people for who they are shouldn’t even be a matter of discussion anymore, it should just be something that we do, no questions asked. If you have trouble accepting homosexuals for getting married for example or for women who have been born in the wrong body to undergo an operation that will make them happier, ask yourself: have they ever done anything to directly hurt you? By doing those things, are they doing anything that directly hurts you? The answer is most likely no. And even if they have, it’s okay to not like one gay person because you don’t get on with them, but to generalise it from there is like me hating all brunettes because one brunette one time did something bad to me.
Nobody is asking you to join in on the fun, we are just asking you to mind your own business and stop judging others for the way they choose to live their lives.
Stand up for yourself and what you believe in
I know I keep referring to Nomi but she is just such a great character. If Nomi never stood up for herself and what she believed in, aka LGBTQ+ rights, the (fictional) world would never accept her. If Hernando would have never stood up for Daniela she would’ve probably stayed in that abusive relationship for way longer, maybe even never have gotten out of it.
For the most part, standing up for what you believe in and most importantly, standing up for yourself is a crucial part of life. Even if it isn’t the easiest thing to do, it’s still absolutely necessary.