Anthony Carter

Is Glee Too Gay?

Filed By Anthony Carter | March 28, 2011 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Glee, tv

First off, I want to say that I love this show. Every scene between Kurt and his dad is kind, hopeful, thoughtful, loving and insightful.glee.png If any of us had ever had an adult this supportive and nonoppressive, things would be quite different. However, I want to address the concept of duality or, more appropriately, living with and managing our own contradictions.

As a member of several divergent social circles, I understand the hunger for representation. In gay circles, we are often shamed if we refuse to adore everything gay regardless of its content or ability to create value. Within black or artistic settings, the same rules apply.

At times, I struggle with my tastes and preferences because there is still a need to be a part of the culture. Many people reading this may assume I am plagued with internalized homophobia or just plain out of the loop because as a queen in his 40's, my day has come and gone.

Both of these assumptions would be incorrect.

Having spent an inordinate amount of time on self development (self love), I can assure anyone, myself included, that I harbor no feelings of loathing regarding myself or my sexuality.

Questioning and having a look needn't be confused with self hatred, denial or an inability to see and speak truth. My incongruities make me an emotionally rich human being.

I love men and being gay.

My contradiction with Glee is very simple: I am completely floored by the outrageousness of it and its ability to put difference (homosexuality) at its center. I applaud the young queen who successfully takes center stage and demands that his voice, desires, opinions, and talent matter.

Every time this occurs I can't help but wince knowing that while this may work on a television show and in the confines and safety of Mr. Schu's room, the world can often have different ways of handling those who steadfastly hold to their beliefs and refuse to remain silent.

In other words, I fear the punishment that is coming.

I know first-hand the brutality of being different and the grappling with oppressive forces that want to annihilate you because of this difference. I grimace weekly not knowing what will happen to this gifted and sweet individual and silently cheer and cry when week after week he triumphs.

In honesty, I could say my interest and love for this cultural juggernaut is not dualistic (love/hate). By and large, it is just plain old jealousy. I often am moved not by what could happen to Kurt but what did happen to me .

I longingly ache for the person I could have been had not so many obstacles been thrown onto my path. I achingly long for the family or a family member like Kurt's dad who takes up for him and threatens any one who tries to give his son shit about who he is and his choices.

My dad made homophobic jokes and unleashed cruelty on anyone who refused to participate in his ignorant and hurtful comments. Watching the relationship between Kurt and his dad makes me reconsider what is possible. It makes me angry that there are people getting this type of support while I fight daily not to nurse resentment because I had a family who saw everything different as bad.

I suppose this show turns blends both my disappointment about what did happen and my hopes of what could happen. It makes you think and feel.

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Is Glee too gay? I don't know. Is the Pope too catholic?

Om Kalthoum | March 28, 2011 9:08 AM

Is [fill in any other TV show's title] too straight?

It's not the most realistic portrayal of gay teens in high school, but it's not a realistic portrayal of high school choirs either.

Yes Glee is gay. Too gay is subjective.
It makes me misty because I was the next Barbra....I was pretty....My mother was supportive....brothers were kind....I had a word for the feelings I have about girls....and I could belt out a song that would make people cry...Instead of the chubby tallish girl with glasses in the back singing alto who hated going home.
Some things have changed a lot since the "dark ages" and some things never will. I hope Glee helps change things....I am sure they have.

Rick Sutton | March 28, 2011 1:17 PM

Too gay? Well...we grow, age and evolve in/around popular media. It's a decent gauge of our society in many respects.

For five decades, we've searched for even one or two sympathetic gay characters in modern media. We grasp at the Wills, Graces and Jacks like bees to honey. Here's an alternative view:

If our culture were represented in even one-fifth of the TV shows. And if the subtle or brash "gay" jokes were universally condemned.

THEN we might reach parity, media culture-wise, in, oh....30 years.

The drip-drip-drip effect of this void, is that legions of young (and old) gays grow up without positive validation anywhere in popular media. Or very little validation. And where do we go for validation, or advice, or help dealing with things? To fellow injured, bruised or confused gays. Who have been similarly affected by this blitzkrieg of straight-dominated media.

Or, we create our own media. Which we'v edone, with some success, but not enough.

The cumulative effect is suffocating. Not that we should get all our relationship or coping advice from popular media.

But the complete opposite hasn't worked.

So, my answer is a solid "no." Because in context, "Glee" strives to present solid stories in positive environments.

If only we had more.

Asking "Is Glee too gay?" is kinda like asking "Is the Tavis Smiley show too black?"

If the answer isn't "Yes" ... then what is its raison d'être?

Dear God...please stop comparing gay issues with black issues. Totally different thing. Besides, I"d be willing to bet the number of gay charecters on TV today outweigh black characters two to one. Points are generally not made by forcing them down somebody's throat.

Paige Listerud | March 29, 2011 2:36 AM

Too gay? I don't know what anyone could mean by too gay.

I will say that it's narrowmindedly gay--in that it reflects Ryan Murphy's narrowminded conception of bisexuals and bisexuality. Better that the whole subjected had been left alone than the crap two episodes dealing with it in the most dismissive and superficial way.

All I can say is, please, please, please--don't let that be the gay standard.

Paige Listerud | March 29, 2011 2:22 PM

Pardon my late-night misspelling--"subject," not "subjected."

Popular media is currently infatuated with wildly unrealistic characterizations. The formula for providing the public with a one-hour drama which allows the viewers to come away with a warm and fuzzy feeling that all is well with the world is artfully calculated to please. Good writing can spice up this hour with bits of clever humor, hints of inside gay scandals, and even unlikely family harmony. An award winning TV show does not require that it be realistic.

In real life brilliant Doctor House would be unemployed or more probably institutionalized yet each year he attends the award ceremonies to carry away his gold statue. In just one hour of drama House and his equally savvy staff run tests, bring their unfortunate patient to the brink of death several times then in the last 5 minuets discover that said patient is allergic to something idiotic like expensive french bottle water. It’s time for the warm & fuzzy final scene where the patient is smiling and loved by all around. No mention is made of the 31 pages of hospital billing or the medical lien on the patient’s home. Popular media does not require realism; in fact it is absolutely avoided.

I completely agree with Paige. Furthermore, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan, Ryan Murhpy and the rest of the creative team have decided to igonre any of the other story lines in service of the "gay" angle. Am I only the only one who's interested in Mike (Harry Shrum Jr.) or Mercedes (Amber Riley)?

Besides, how can you ask us to take a show about gay peoples' lives seriously when Chris Golfer, the winner for 'Best Supporting Actor' at this years Golden Globes - and who's gay himself - can't even bring himself to utter three simple letters.

Distraught Denny | April 23, 2011 10:46 AM

The thugs at my High School openly mock anyone who likes Glee (gay or straight), and will mercileslly slam you into a locker and call you a f*****. And no they aren't secretly gay, they are just your typical run of the mill jocks trying to look good and assert their dominance. Sometimes I wonder if humans have any hope at all.

Forget about an apology. It is a mistake for GLAAD to try and make political capital out of this. The progay speaker got his point across and rebutted all the rubbish spoken by the so-called American Family Association who looked increasingly irrational as the interview wore on. It was with public conversations like this that Harvey Milk prevailed against Anita Bryant. By trying to extinguish public debate, GLAAD may inadvertently be damaging its own cause of public education. In Australia, the bizarre pronouncements by Rev Fred NIle against the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras helped the parade to become the biggest LGBT public event in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting a street crowd in excess of 1 million per year. Instead of attacking them, let's give FOX credit for actually screening Glee in the first place. Whenever the likes of Phelps and his Westboro nutters get airspace, they just look more and more ridiculous. The best way to expose their vitriolic malice and ignorance is, well, to expose it.