Netflix renews LGBTQ-inclusive series 'Sex Education' for second season

In the hit show, an awkward teen, who happens to have a sex therapist mom, teams up with a classmate to start an underground sex therapy clinic at school.
Image: Emma Mackey, Asa Butterfield and Connor Swindells in Netflix's "Sex Education."
Emma Mackey, Asa Butterfield and Connor Swindells in Netflix's "Sex Education."Jon Hall / Netflix
By Gwen Aviles

Netflix confirmed via Twitter that its popular series “Sex Education” will be renewed for a second season.

"Eight new episodes are coming," the streaming giant posted in a tweet Friday morning alongside a promotional video.

In the show, an awkward teenage boy, Otis, who happens to have a sex therapist mother (played by Gillian Anderson), teams up with a high school classmate to start an underground sex therapy clinic at school.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Though the British series only debuted in January, it quickly became one of Netflix’s most-viewed shows. According to Netflix’s quarterly earning report, which was released on Jan. 17, “Sex Education” was on track to be viewed by more than 40 million households within the first month of its release.

The show's LGBTQ-inclusive storylines have led it to become especially popular among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer viewers, who see themselves represented in the series.

“‘Sex Education’ is doing all the things right … that so many of us wish American media would just wake up, cut the drama, and just do already,” Scott Turner Schofield, a transgender performer, author and educator, told NBC News. “Watching the show, I’m filled with joy for the LGBTQ youth audience, who don’t see themselves at all, never mind possibilities for their sexual choices, represented anywhere.”

While “Sex Education” has been hailed as comedic and relatable for dealing with the awkwardness of being a teenager, it also taps into an issue that often goes unaddressed by television shows and schools alike: the lack of LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health education.

Nearly 56 percent of LGBTQ students have not received sex education that touches upon LGBTQ topics, according to a 2017 report by LGBTQ youth advocacy organization GLSEN. The report notes that even when areas specific to LGBTQ students are addressed in an educational setting, they may only be done so in a cursory or unhelpful way, further stigmatizing or excluding LGBTQ students.

In 2015, GLSEN, along with other LGBTQ and youth advocacy organizations, called for more LGBTQ-inclusive sexual education. Their call to action notes that the lack of educational resources available to LGBTQ students makes them more susceptible to emotional and physical health risks, like STDs, teen pregnancy and dating violence.

The lack of LGBTQ-inclusive sex education available to young people makes a show like "Sex Education" — which explores the unique sexual health and relationship issues that face LGBTQ teens — even more important, according to Schofield.

“I know these young viewers have such a bigger shot than I ever did at approaching their sexuality, knowing they are not the only one who feels this way, and finally with some semblance of a roadmap (a start, at least) for how to make healthy choices,” Schofield said. “This is where representation really, really matters, and I’m grateful to 'Sex Education' for doing it right and well.”

FOLLOW NBC OUT ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM