Ugly Betty’s gay storyline was better

Fairy Godfather

… in some ways.

I just watched the episode where Marc St James (played by the delicious Michael Urie) comes out to his mom, and I realised the thing that I’ve felt was missing from Glee is an older gay who faces actual rejection.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore the Kurt/Burt Hummel storyline. It is incredibly refreshing to see a family stay together through a coming out. It’s new and fresh, but I feel like the rest of us are being forgotten.

There are generations of us gay people who have been rejected by our families. Some of us still talk to ours, but censor ourselves. Others of us have no contact with our parents or sibilings whatsoever. It’s not a happy thing, but it’s a very real thing. For better or worse, this reality has shaped our community and our sense of family. It’s why we older gays look out for the younger ones so diligently. And in watching out for the younger ones, we learn to heal our very broken and hurt younger selves.

And this narrative made it into Ugly Betty.

Marc doesn’t come out to his mom because he wanted to. He did it after she made several nasty comments about Justin, Betty’s effeminate (and ultimately revealed to be gay) nephew. He came out because he knew his silence had made the way safe for her to speak like that. And because he could finally see (because he could see it in someone else) that he had every right to be who he was.

But really, aren’t we blessed? Look at all these gay storylines I have to pick apart.

I won’t grieve the death of the gay/family rejection narrative. I might miss representations of my own generation, but the stories that show the way forward are more important.

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