Billions features groundbreaking non-binary sex scene
Billions has shown a non-binary sex scene in a landmark move.
Last year, the Showtime drama introduced Taylor, a character who does not identify as male or female, played by Asia Kate Dillon, who is also non-binary.
They were widely considered to be the first representation of a non-binary character on TV.
The acclaimed TV show, which stars Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, tells the story of a battle between a top hedge fund and the New York District Attorney’s office.
Taylor is an intern at the hedge fund who is super-intelligent, a vegan, and also happens to use the pronoun ‘they’ – as briefly discussed with another character when they came out in the Season 2 premiere.
In the latest episode on April 22, Taylor is sent to San Francisco to hear technological pitches with venture philanthropist Oscar Langstraat, played by Mike Birbiglia.
The two bond over a mutual love of nerdy pursuits like Star Wars, Apple and – finally – popular board game Netrunner, which they end up playing against each other at a tournament.
They both go back to Oscar’s mansion, undress, and enjoy a pretty lovely TV sex scene.
The move has been generally praised by reviewers, even if some people took to Twitter to express their outrage, confusion and, often, ignorance.
In a prime example of confusing gender with sexuality, one said: “If you wanna consider yourself non-gender, fine. But if you have sex aren’t you admitting to yourself to being one or the other on some level?”
No. No, you are not. But these kind of comments show why representation on mainstream shows is so important.
Since Taylor joined Billions last year, there has been a steady stream of non-binary characters hitting the small screen.
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Netflix’s Degrassi: Next Class saw Yael, played by Jamie Bloch, realise with the help of their friend Lola (Amanda Arcuri) that they are non-binary – perhaps genderfluid or genderqueer.
The controversial reboot of Roseanne also features a non-binary character in the shape of nine-year-old Mark.
Mark, who is the son of Darlene and David – played by Sara Gilbert and Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki – is gender creative.
Netflix sitcom One Day at a Time has also included a non-binary part in its reboot, with Sheridan Pierce joining the cast this year as Syd, a non-binary teen activist who starts dating lesbian teenager Elena.
The pair bonded over a mutual love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, Supergirl, queer theory and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.