And again, I came across another interesting Japanese drama that talks about the struggle of “IS”, which stands for intersexual. The term refers to people who cannot be classified as a male or a female, and who may biologically possess physical traits of both sexes. Some argue that it is not a psychologically gender identity disorder, but the state at which intersexuals are at may present themselves anywhere between the two sexes.
This is the first I’ve heard of intersexual, and I want to say thanks to whoever created this movie for educating me. In this generation, people are becoming more aware of homosexuals and bisexuals, but intersexual is perhaps less well known by society. Perhaps, it is more controversial … more sensitive to the norm.
But it makes one wonder, what is the norm? Who decides what is normal? Just because one category or classification outnumbers another, doesn’t mean it is the norm, does it? Unfortunately, that is how society is.
The drama evolves around two families, both with an IS child. As we know, every parent has their own methods and beliefs on raising a child. Some may be pressured by the norm and plan the best outcome for the child; while some may just follow their heart, knowing they’ve made the best decision at that time and just move with the flow. This drama really opened up my eyes to the struggle of someone who is different and trying to fit in with society. Fitting in to make friends; to get acknowledgement and to even be able to fall in love.
Recently, I discovered a friend of mine is a homosexual. It was surprising to me as I had known him for 12 years yet not really knowing who he was. It is tough keeping secrets, and I really respect his courage for being able to tell me the truth. I asked him why he chose to let me know now, and he said he thought I should know the truth before I got married. I wasn’t sure what to make of that reasoning but I am sure it must have been tough all these years. Apparently, he had known it since he was a child. I don’t think of him any differently. He is still my friend, and I reassured and thanked him for letting me know. But something he said made me ponder on the future …
“So my younger brother brought home a “friend” recently. He’s the same as me … [laughs]. But it’s ok, my older brother is getting married next year and so my mum will be happy at least for a while.”
I start to think how I would react if my own child is “different” from the rest? Will I have the courage to accept? What would be right and wrong? I don’t know what I would do when the day comes … but this drama has taught me to learn to accept, and that a child no matter how different he or she is … is still a normal human being. They should have the right to attend school like everyone else, make friends, and experience falling in love. They should have the right to be happy.
“There are a lot of different people in the world. That’s nature. Even if only one person understands, I think it’ll be okay.”
“We should be able to live without lying.”
quotes from the J-drama, IS (男でも女でもない性)
Come to think of it, we’re constantly categorizing details of our lives. Masculine or feminine, introverts or extroverts, guy friend or girl friend … if only things were as simple as “as long as he’s a good person.”
Some parents could see it as a form of punishment. Perhaps, the more optimistic way is seeing it as a test. Don’t we all grow from facing challenges head on?