Why was Kurt so humiliated?

But good things come at a great cost, as this deeply moral show always insists: Before Kurt, the openly gay Glee kid, was crowned queen, he ran away from the gymnasium sobbing from the “humiliation.” He was coaxed back in by his boyfriend, Blaine, who had been initially reluctant to attend because he was gay-bashed at the prom at his previous school. Then Kurt took the stage and said, “Kate Middleton, eat your heart out,” and everyone went crazy. He then slow-danced with Blaine, and the streamers fluttered and balloons fell like swooning hearts.

[…]

But Kurt’s humiliation brought up an intriguing point that was never developed. Why did he feel so bad? He never said.

via Even on ‘Glee,’ a tiara doesn’t always feel right – The Globe and Mail.

Today we go from the ridiculous to the sublime. I’ve never been so shocked to read something quite so interesting about Glee in a newspaper. My maple-syrupy blood is pleased that I’m quoting the Globe and Mail.

My take on an answer to this would be that, while Kurt mayn’t be overly bothered — maybe a little sensitive about it, but that’s it — about being called a woman, he knows his election as prom queen was meant as an insult. It’s the confirmation of all his worst fears, that bigotry has simply gone underground.

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4 thoughts on “Why was Kurt so humiliated?

  1. I can’t tell you how often I’ve told people I don’t care what gender they address me as as long as it’s not meant as an insult. And I’ve had pretty much every gender thrown at me as an insult at some point (I’m biologically female and genderqueer and I’ve been called Ma’am with dripping nastiness when in a men’s suit; asked if I’m a man when wearing a dress (even when I had long hair and wore makeup; and have been assumed to be both FtM and MtF by people outside of the community in ways meant to insult). You know when it happens. And it feels like crap. And it’s not something straight, gender-conforming people generally have the displeasure of experiencing.

    Public mis-gendering like that isn’t just an insult, but an act of both erasure and possession. It implies others know Kurt’s body and desires better than he does himself, and it’s a nasty, nasty echo back to the Karofsky kiss.

  2. Although, as a child, I was regularly accidentally misgendered (which bothered me so much I changed the spelling of my name, which was ambiguous) but I don’t think I’ve been maliciously misgendered ever. So I don’t know what that feels like.

    That said, I’ve seen others be spoken to in the way you describe. I’m not even sure I understand what other people get out of it. Did you read the rest of the article? She goes on to describe what happens in Modern Family, which I’m going to watch tonight because it sounds really … direct, or something.

    You know what? As much as I’m fascinated by gender (which almost proves my suspicions that I’m outside it), sometimes I get so sick of gender stuff and wonder why it has to exist at all.

    I can actually hear Kurt saying exactly what you said in that first sentence.

  3. That’s an interesting article. I especially like this part: “It is this – knowing what we want – that so often eludes us.”
    The author was clearly hoping for some kind of ‘f*** you’ from Kurt in that scene. I can’t say that wouldn’t have perhaps felt better.

  4. To be thought of as a woman is probably the lowest insult across this entire planet. Even though Kurt embraces his woman-ness, he knows the prom crowd support that view, and it can’t help but hurt. That’s what makes Blaine such a subversive character: he doesn’t seem to care about that while he floats back and forth between genders, switching roles depending on the context or presumably how he feels and what he desires at that moment. He values both equally, as should we all.

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