DG talks GEP: Queers Only Space

You may have noticed I have more or less stayed out of the comments on the posts about/by the Glee Equality Project (GEP).

My views on the aims of this group, I believe, are widely known, and I felt it unnecessary to contribute further, especially since I’ve been interrogated on Tumblr non stop by people who turned out to have other agendas.

But this does concern me, because I believe it seems to represent a very clear divide in a community of people who are queer and who are yearning to see their stories on television. I don’t know whether the divide is age, or rural/urban, or experience? But it’s very real, and I don’t think it needs to be as bitter as it is.

Let’s be clear here: I have no interest whatsoever in listening to straight people tell me that Ryan Murphy is homophobic. Or that Chris Colfer is a corporate shill for FOX. I have no interest in straight people who tell me I’m homophobic and that they know how gay characters should behave in relationships for it to be real. The only person who can point to another queer person and call them out on homophobia is another queer person. The moment people started shouting accusations of a gay writer being homophobic, it became an in-community discussion.

This conversation is for the queer people who are looking for their own story, not straight people. Obviously, this is the Internet, where nobody knows you’re a dog, so you could lie, but seriously? Grow up. Get a life. Have your own conversation about whether Finchel really is how you want straight characters represented or something. Or go make out with your opposite-sex favourite person in the hallways at school. All straight kids do that right?

Comments may be heavily moderated if that becomes necessary. 

Now, business. Several arguments I’ve been presented:

Art Vs Commodity

I’ve been accused of treating Glee as though it is a worthy work of art. Well, ok, I think it is, so I’m guilty of that one. I do think writing is an art. I think acting, set design and props and costume design are arts. I believe, and have studied it extensively, so I should know, that music is itself an art. So yes, I do put Glee under the heading of “art”. And art isn’t easy.

This is the thing about telling stories. You think it’s easy. You think that the lies you tell your friends and family are “stories”. They’re not; they’re just lies. Fanfiction is often nothing but a fancy daydream, and you honestly wouldn’t read most of it if the characters weren’t already skillfully established for you.

Storytelling requires work, practice, careful thought, observation, structure and several concrete actual skills. You want them to tell a different story and that is sort of your own tough luck. They have a story to tell and they’re telling it. You can either glean from it what enjoyment and edification is in it, or you can go find another story you like better. You can complain, (hey, I sure do!) but starting a full on campaign feels like telling an artist what to do.

And then, the argument follows that it is not just art, but a commodity, and that viewers are patrons, who pay for it, so they should have a say in it. That’s not strictly true. First, the advertisers are the patrons. We are the product they’re paying for, and the show is quite simply bait. Stop flocking to the bait and the advertisers will stop paying for it, and it will disappear.

The problem inherent in that scenario is that you will delete about 80% of queer representation on television if you get rid of Glee. Why do they pat themselves on the back for being progressive? Because they are.

Who gets the most airtime?

A lot of people complain that Brittany and Santana and Kurt and Blaine don’t get enough airtime. Finn and Rachel get too much. Or who cares about the Wemma wedding? The thing is, the actual main characters in Glee have always been Rachel Berry and Will Schuester. They, and their love interests will always attract a disproportionate amount of screentime. It’s not subjective. Finchel and Wemma are the story. Brittana and Klaine are not.

In fact one of these couples was an accident. Writers noticed that the Brittany and Santana couple were popular, so they went beyond the “hot lesbian cheerleaders” gag they’d been running with and gave the two girls feelings. To me, it was clever and subversive and while Brittany and Santana do not represent my own experience of queerness, I certainly don’t have a problem with them being on it, and I’m delighted that others find representation there. Kurt and Blaine speak somewhat more to my own vision of queer, so I’m more invested in them, and according to the GEP, they get almost as much screentime (20 vs 34 minutes dialogue) as Finn and Rachel, and Rachel is the female lead. I’m confused as to how that isn’t amazing.

Clearly, my expectations are lower. I’m 36. My only early representation of homosexuality on my television was Caitlin Ryan on Degrassi Junior High wondering if she might be (gasp!) gay. The happy ending is that (whew!) she’s not! Literally, that was it. And that was considered progressive and controversial in Canada in my teenage years.

Physical Affection

The first stream of research looks at physical affection. We absolutely recognize the importance of other measures of equality on the depiction of relationships on television, but we believe first and foremost that equal amounts of physical affection are important. Why? So that gay kids watching can see that they’re normal and natural and not “inappropriate for family hour”. So that gay affection can become normalized for straight people too. We don’t believe that there is equal treatment on Glee, and we believe it needs to be fixed.
GEP Statement

I think this quote here represents a fundamental disconnect between the expectations of this group of fans, and what the show actually is. Glee, in itself, represents a kind of heightened reality. It is not a fantasy program, or a dreamlike utopia. While the things that happen in Glee aren’t entirely realistic (complex musical numbers, sets and lighting happen out of nowhere, etc), it is more real than real, with the effects like this hilighting the truest emotions and realities even while being so obviously not real.

This means that the characters are not political action figures.

As far as Glee showing gay kids that they are suitable for pre-watershed life, Kurt and Blaine lost their virginities to each other in the show and it’s well established in canon that Brittany and Santana have been having sex since Season 1.

Because the show represents a kind of heightened reality, try and imagine a show that has a character whose primary plot point is that she’s poor. And yet, in the show, people open doors for her at every turn. She doesn’t even worry about university because she knows she’ll get a scholarship or a grant. She looks good in the amazing clothes she somehow finds at the thrift store. Her teeth are perfect as is her dye job. She always wears something fabulous to the parties she gets invitied to and always manages to come up with a present to bring too. Now imagine you’re poor, and you’re watching this on television. Wouldn’t you mostly be disgusted?

Agency and Respect

This is where Jacq gets angry a little bit. Because there’s this:

Our third stream of research for the campaign looks at more qualitative issues including agency. This is of course a more subjective and fluid area for consideration and discussion, and tends to focus more on the lack of respect afforded to LGBT couples. This stream is characterized by observations, such as the fact that Santana and Brittany never once talk about Santana’s forced outing (including what it may mean for Brittany) in “I Kissed a Girl” or elsewhere, or the fact that Kurt and Blaine do not talk about what to do with the evidence Santana collected against Sebastian following the slushy incident in “Michael”. We don’t believe the straight couples on the show were treated so dismissively.

A specific example concerns conflict resolution among the couples. In the episode “Saturday Night Gleever”, each of Finn, Mercedes, and Santana had storylines to do with being uncertain about their futures and were helped out by their significant others in this regard. All three storylines were resolved in that episode. Finn/Rachel and Sam/Mercedes both kissed as part of their resolution, while Brittany and Santana hugged in front of Sue Sylvester in her office.

This is not equal treatment.

In the episode “Dance With Somebody”, Kurt and Blaine had a fight that was resolved. Like with Brittany and Santana in “Saturday Night Gleever”, however, they were not given the privacy or opportunity to share a kiss as part of this resolution. They hugged in front of Emma Pillsbury in her office.

This is not equal treatment.

We believe there is a problem, and we’re going to keep fighting for that problem to be rectified.

 You know, on a dispassionate note, this section refers to something we all find frustrating about Glee, and I would go so far as to assume the writers find this frustrating too: it’s an ensemble show with a gigantic cast. While some incidents are put in the spotlight, other plot points are either glossed over or missed out altogether. And yes, it’s frustrating.
For the record, I was one of the early donors to the Box Scene Project (before the fandom giveaway, etc). I really think it was a mistake to have cut that scene. I don’t, however, think that cut was motivated by homophobia. From what I know of the taping of the show, it was probably cut for either technical reasons (boom in shot or something else stupid) or quite simply time, and them feeling it was less central to the arc of the story than the scenes that they left in. As the creators of the story we watch, they get to decide those things. We get to decide if we watch or not.

Murphy acknowledges recent controversy over allegations that “Glee” has shown far fewer romantic gay scenes than heterosexual ones over the past TV season: “I really understand how important it is for so many young people to turn on a show and say, ‘Oh, I’m like that character and I wish I had that bravery.’ When I was growing up, I didn’t have that. I get it. I appreciate it. I commend the passion … but there is no other show on network television that has done more for gay characters and stories than ‘Glee’ and I’ve fought hard for that.”

Can we sit back and think on these words for a moment “… and I’ve fought hard for that.”

On a more personal note, it’s tough to see anyone pontificating about agency and respect regarding LGB* people, and then talk trash about Ryan Murphy (openly gay creator of the show) and Chris Colfer (openly gay, future world overlord, dude who plays Kurt) as though they are not able to speak for themselves. None of that is respecting the agency of LGB people, who may clearly be less important to some people than LGB characters.

So, my opinion is that the divide between the queer people who support the GEP and people like myself who do not:

  1. The show is about Rachel and Will, but a lot of people wish it wasn’t.
  2. Gay kids cannot safely be affectionate in public schools, and a lot of people wish they could.
  3. The LGB experience is not one experience and it changes over time, too. Glee clearly does represent well, for a lot of people, myself included, what life is like when you’re queer. For others, it does not. Clearly, for the gay people involved in the show, they believe they are representing a progressive picture of gay youth. While this should be respected, it would be interesting too, to see a show set somewhere more accepting than Lima, Ohio. Like, maybe New York City. And see how that changes what can and can’t happen.
  4. There’s a lot of suspicion that FOX has been censoring the show of queer content. To be perfectly honest, when one of the actors involved spoke up at Comic Con without being asked and denied that, that settled that in my mind. Now that Chris Colfer has dismissed the claims as well, I don’t even feel like it’s worth suspecting anymore. Am I naive?

What do you think?


41 thoughts on “DG talks GEP: Queers Only Space

  1. I think it’s laughable, when people involved in the making of Glee tell how groundbreaking this show is regarding the portrayal of gay characters. It is as if a movie like “Beautiful Thing” which was on TV in the late 90s never happened. 15 years later, we see two young gay characters on TV rubbing their noses together which implies they had or will have sex. What a joke.

    On one hand everybody can see in almost every episode how unrealistic Glee is – which is ok, because it’s Glee. And then you defend Glee for being realistic when representing gay characters. Because young gays don’t kiss in school hallways. Right!

    You can’t take Chris Colfer (or any other Glee actor) seriously when they are being asked about their job. They are paid by Fox to play their role and be nice and say nice things about Glee to the media. It’s the same in my company. My employees talk nice about us, the problems stay within the company. It’s very simple.

    I’m a gay male, 41 years old.

  2. I’m a 20-something lesbian, so according to your argument, my opinions should be more valid than a straight person’s.

    To address your points:
    “1.The show is about Rachel and Will, but a lot of people wish it wasn’t.”
    –No one has said that it isn’t. But if you look at percentages of time/screentime vs. percentages of private scenes and kissing, the gay couples are getting shafted in both respects. That has nothing to do with who is a lead. Brittany and Santana had five scenes together. They were all in public. ALL of them. None of the other couples suffered from this, regardless of screentime. Tina and Mike had a private scene. So did Sam and Mercedes (two, actually). Neither of these couples consist of a major character. Both of these couples also kissed before Brittany and Santana, even though it had been canon that they were sleeping together since season one. There is absolutely no arguing against these facts. Why did it take Brittany and Santana over FORTY episodes to kiss on-screen?

    “2.Gay kids cannot safely be affectionate in public schools, and a lot of people wish they could.”
    –Clearly, Santana and Brittany have no problem with PDA in their public school. And in fact, they fought Principal Figgins on it. They WANT to kiss in front of their peers, just like Finn and Rachel do. All three times they have kissed have been in front of a crowd of people (the hallway in Heart, at Breadstix in Heart, and in the hallway in Nationals). Also, fear of PDA in front of people is not a valid excuse, because the writers can easily write private scenes for the gay couples. Just like they do for Wemma and Finchel and Samcedes and Quick and every other couple.

    “3. Clearly, for the gay people involved in the show, they believe they are representing a progressive picture of gay youth. While this should be respected, it would be interesting too, to see a show set somewhere more accepting than Lima, Ohio.”
    –I live in the South, in a very conservative small town. That never stopped me from having conversations with my girlfriend, within the privacy of my own home. It also never stopped me from wanting to hold her hand or kiss her, when I felt the situation warranted it. Especially when I’m in a safe, accepting environment (much like how the Glee club should feel about the choir room, where everyone in there accepts and loves them for who they are).

    “4.There’s a lot of suspicion that FOX has been censoring the show of queer content. To be perfectly honest, when one of the actors involved spoke up at Comic Con without being asked and denied that, that settled that in my mind. Now that Chris Colfer has dismissed the claims as well, I don’t even feel like it’s worth suspecting anymore. Am I naive?”
    –Yes, actually, I think you are naive. Very naive. There’s no way in hell that Chris Colfer is going to explicitly place blame on the network that employs him. And that goes for everyone that Fox employs. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  3. Please show me where the GEP has ever called Ryan Murphy homophobic, Chris Colfer a corporate shill or talked trash about them. I do not recall them ever making any such accusations. I have seen them pointing out a lack of private scenes between the LGB couples, a lack of normal affection between them, a desexualization of their relationships, and serious story problems with the portrayals of them – especially Brittany’s bisexuality being made a running joke and Santana’s coming out story being made to be all about Finn’s feelings. I’ve also watched them be unfailingly polite to people who accuse them of things they haven’t done.

    And, yes, you are incredibly naive to think anybody related to the show is ever going to criticize their bosses in public. Part of their job is to be professional and stick to the talking points. They’re there to sell a product. They’d like to ever be hired again in the industry. They’re going to stick to the talking points the publicists hand them – and you can bet they expected the topic to come up and had some for it.

    I’m a 36 year old lesbian. I have no idea why that should make my opinion matter more here, but apparently it does.

  4. Funny story: I’m female, queer, 19, and white (Swedish). My environment isn’t hostile. I’m openly affectionate with my best (girl) friend, to the point where people automatically assume we’re together. We’ve never gotten shit for it. Though I grew up with a homophobic dad (who, on my 18th birthday, bragged about the queers he used to beat up when he was younger), when I finally — after being out to my mom for several years — came out to him, he accepted and supported me without hesitation. (The most terrifying thing I’ve ever done, btw.)

    I am completely on your side re: Glee.

    My other best friend is queer, 17, and black (Brazilian). Her environment is very hostile. Her mom sent her to reparative therapy after finding out she had a girlfriend, refuses to let her wear clothes that aren’t deemed “feminine” enough, etc. The only reason she hasn’t been thrown out of the house yet is because she told her mom it was a mistake and that she’s repenting.

    She frequently complains about how the LGBT characters are treated on Glee.

    I have yet to figure out why this is.

  5. You know? I’m still confused by the hostility. Anyway, actual points.

    — in what world does two straight lead characters not have a valid impact on how much screentime the supporting gay characters get? Lead characters, regardless of sexuality, get more screentime.

    — Santana may have no problem with being affectionate in school, but that storyline clearly showed that she’s not free to be. It may not be fear, but it is discriminatory behaviour she has to deal with.

    — I’m delighted you are so free to be affectionate in public. That’s something many of us don’t have, and one of the reasons I wanted to open this discussion up — to see if that’s something that has changed so drastically that I can’t imagine it, and you can’t imagine life otherwise. Because that’s interesting.

    — I still don’t understand why people continue to be fans of people they think are fundamentally liars. Or shows they think are offensive. Darren Criss wasn’t asked the question — he actually jumped in and volunteered his answer. Do you think he just felt that in love with FOX that he had to rush to lie and defend them even though he wasn’t asked?

  6. And I addressed that — the concept of heightened reality is a common enough one in tv. Think Ally McBeal. No way she actually ended up swimming in a cup of cappucinno, or danced with an invisible baby, but the show still remained largely true to life.

    And do gay kids kiss in the hallways these days? When I was a teen we weren’t allowed to straight or gay (although nobody was openly gay back then). This is a genuine question: I have no idea. Especially about American schools.

  7. I am 25, so not too far out of high school. I went to high school in a liberal town in New England. I knew one person in my high school of 1200 who was openly gay. Granted, I did not know everyone in my school, obviously, but I do know of two people who I was friends with who waited until college to come out.

    The one person that I’m thinking of was a liberal very open kind of guy. I found out that he was gay because I had a female friend that asked him out — at that point he came out to her as bi and told her that he had a boyfriend. I don’t think I ever saw him and his boyfriend being physical together, nor did I see any same-sex PDA in my high school hallways. And there was PDA.

    And Chris was apparently in a school and town where being gay was absolutely the worst thing you could be to the point where he got nervous about playing a gay character.

  8. They’ve accused him of robbing his queer characters of any kind of dignity or respect, of creating characters that are entirely made to be punching bags, and of using queer identities in his show to appear progressive while subverting equality in order to make more money. Yeah, that’s homophobic.

    I have seen several dismissals of Chris Colfer’s explanations around this topic saying that he’s paid to say it — the implication is that he’d say anything he was paid to say. He could certainly say “I’m really not interested in addressing that.” or something else non committal.

  9. I’m a 20-something asexual and I count myself as queer.

    During Season 3 I got frustrated with Glee. I didn’t like the way LGBT characters were being treated and I felt you could only tell that Kurt and Blaine were a romantic couple instead of best friends was if you examined every moment of their interactions. How can you have an episode about Santana be outed yet not have her talk to her S.O.?

    The comment made at Comic-Con (I forget who made it) that “Kurt doesn’t like PDA” is lazy. Instead of telling the fans after the fact and outside of the show what Kurt feels, why didn’t they show it during Glee? Kurt and Blaine could have talked about it or done something more then a few furtive looks in one scene. Portraying Kurt and Blaine loosing their virginities in The First Time (3×05) was progressive of Glee. But I don’t feel that they’ve done much since then.

  10. I didn’t think my response was hostile…? Unless disagreeing with you is automatically hostile behavior.

    –Again, it has nothing to do with amount of screentime. It’s the percentage of that screentime that I’m addressing. Like I said above, Tina and Mike had a private scene. So did Mercedes and Sam. Both of these characters are MINOR characters, who were still allowed privates scenes with each other. Santana and Brittany did not get that once, out of the five one-on-one scenes they had together. And again, I ask you, why did it take over forty episodes for them to kiss, when every other couple (both real and random, like Brittany and Sam, Beiste and Will, etc. etc.) had kissed on-screen?

    –Since Santana and Brittany kissed again, in the hallway of the school, even after the talk with Figgins, they obviously don’t care about what Figgins says. And again, if the writers wrote private scenes for them, PUBLIC displays of affection (and how comfortable they feel about them) are a moot point.

    –And again, I wasn’t talking about being comfortable in a random public place. The choir room should be a sacred space for anyone to be free to hold hands, hug, kiss, or whatever they feel like doing with their significant other. It’s a safe space. But either way, writing a private scene solves this issue altogether.

    –Ryan Murphy even contradicted himself in the interview with Gold Derby. He acknowledged that the show is on at 8pm, in the “family hour” timeslot, so there are certain restrictions, whether they admit it explicitly or not. And yes, I do believe that the actors or producers would lie, when asked point blank about who is to blame for the lack of gay content. And that they would feel the need to defend the network who basically catapulted them to fame. Where would Darren Criss be right now without Fox? Where would Chris Colfer be? Naya Rivera? Ryan Murphy and Fox gave them their first big breaks. I am sure they will be forever grateful for that and wouldn’t want to publicly admonish their employers.

  11. No, no, disagreeing is expected. It was just the line about the straight/gay thing that I thought was a little off.

    Anyway, is it percentage of alone-time you’re talking about?

    My thing about the “they could write alone-time” — and I used to say this too, so it’s a conclusion I’ve come to watching the show with this in mind. The show is super tightly edited. Writing extra scenes to accommodate some kind of kiss-counting agenda would be pretty weird.

    About the Brittana kiss, I was as surprised as the writers were that fans really thought their on-screen makeout session didn’t count? I mean, for me, neck kissing is full on erotic and implies much more than a peck on the lips… so I don’t think it did take 40 episodes for them to kiss.

    I get that it’s a difference in perception, but yeah, I’m surprised that people are so unwilling to see that scene as it was written.

  12. ” Writing extra scenes to accommodate some kind of kiss-counting agenda would be pretty weird.”
    –…No, I’m not asking for extra scenes so that they can kiss. Why did Sue have to be in that scene with Santana and Brittany at the end of SNG? She served no purpose other than chaperoning the gay kids (why wasn’t Will in the conclusion scene of SNG with Finchel or Samcedes?) Why did Finn get scenes with Santana in IKAG and Brittany got nothing? Brittany, who was also outed in addition to Santana, didn’t even address her own outing. But we did get Finn’s view on it all. Which was unnecessary and offensive, to be honest. Ask any Brittana shipper, and they’ll tell you they much prefer conversations to kissing.

    –And…I can’t even comment on you agreeing with the writers that Brittana kissed in Duets. Kissing = lips on lips action. That’s pretty cut and dry, no matter the connotation of the scene.

  13. The only thing I recall seeing the GEP say against Ryan Murphy is calling him out on his own comments he made about Modern Family. And to be honest, Ryan deserves to be called out on those comments because they were offensive and uncalled for and he doesn’t exactly do anything differently on his show.

    And as for Chris Colfer, again, I frequent forums dedicated to discussing Klaine and Brittana and the actors, and no one has said Chris is being “paid” for anything. They have merely pointed out that no matter how he feels, he isn’t going to publicly criticize his bosses and put his job in jeopardy, nor is he going to dismiss the issue and upset his fans.

  14. With all due respect, I think you’re being offensive by stating that the fans of Glee who are straight should have no say in this. I’m gay myself, but I’ve met many amazing straight people in this fandom who want to see equal treatment and represantation for all the couples. I don’t see why anyone’s opinion should matter more than anyone else’s.

    And personally, what I’m campaigning for is not to see my “queer story” reflected on Glee, but to see all the couples treated equally. If a straight couple gets a private scene, then a gay couple should get a private scene in the same situation, and should not be unnecessarily chaperoned. If a gay couple is wary of PDA, why write 99% of their scenes in public, why not let them have more scenes in private? Why exclude the gay couples from each other’s storylines and not have them discuss important events that affect both of them?

    In the end, the writers and the network obviously have the right to run their show as they wish, and the viewers have the right to complain and stop watching if they want to. I’m just baffled as to why they would risk to lose such a big part of their viewers over something that could be easily fixed.

  15. IKAG was about “how to be a shitty ally for dummies” and also about “how people coming out need their friends even though they’re shitty allies”. Shitty ally has always been Finn. It’s one of his primary roles.

    Brittany was never “in” — she was even puzzled as to why Santana was worried about people knowing.

    That’s my reading of it anyway. I barely remember anything about SNG, so I might have to go back and watch it in order to answer your questions about that episode in particular.

  16. With all due respect, it’s my blog and my rules. Also, opinions can be more or less informed, and in my opinion as a queer person, people with these experiences have more informed opinions than the people who just think they know because they have a gay bff or because they watch Glee or something. Otherwise, we’d have someone like Finn Hudson on here.

    Not going to entertain any reverse-homophobia accusations. It doesn’t exist and it’s frankly off-topic.

  17. I guess I would rather see a story I recognize/like/”is made uncomfortable by in the best possible way” (the latter is my favorite) over “equality”. Especially, as in the case of Kurt/Blaine. Do I really want them to be a toxic train wreck ala Finchel? Eww. I would much rather their relationship be less of a story point.

    Remember what Tolstoy said, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Replace family with couple and I think this is why we don’t get as much Kurt-Blaine private time. Happy functional couples are boring for storytelling. And with therapy-head Blaine, their main source of conflict (failure to communicate appropriate texting boundaries), would be the most boring television ever. “I feel hurt and inadequate when you exchange flirty text messages with other boys” “I hear that you are feeling hurt, but I understood the texting boundaries as…” (In my head cannon, Blaine’s parents totally have a few of John Gottman’s books and Blaine has totally read them before he was even in a relationship).

  18. What I want to know is, would these people keep this up if, say, Klaine broke up next season, and either Seblaine or Kurtofsky or whatever happened and were treated in much the same manner?

  19. “IKAG was about “how to be a shitty ally for dummies” and also about “how people coming out need their friends even though they’re shitty allies”. Shitty ally has always been Finn. It’s one of his primary roles.

    Brittany was never “in” — she was even puzzled as to why Santana was worried about people knowing”

    –But it doesn’t really matter if Brittany was “out” or not. Making out with girls for fun =/= having a girlfriend and being in love with a girl. We got to see nothing from Brittany’s perspective, no matter what that perspective was. We saw a guy harrassing Santana, and then she happily turned around and sang a song about kissing girls while Finn and Rory and other guys practically were practically drooling at them. How can you say that was a fair and accurate depiction of what it’s like to come out? Especially since Glee and its creators present itself as a show that’s supposed to be respectful of gay kids and take them seriously. And as for Finn being a shitty ally for Santana, why didn’t he say anything about Brittany? Why does the bisexual get no perspective? (Finn never called Santana a “lesbian”…he repeatedly said that he knew about her and Brittany’s “relationship”)

    “That’s my reading of it anyway. I barely remember anything about SNG, so I might have to go back and watch it in order to answer your questions about that episode in particular”
    –I’ll refresh your memory. Finn, Mercedes, and Santana are all wondering what they’re going to do with their future. Will (with the help of Sue) tries to help them out and get them on the right paths. In the end, it’s their significant others (Rachel, Sam, and Brittany) who really help them out and are there for them emotionally and supportively. Finn tells Rachel he’s decided and wants to be an actor, alone in a classroom. They kiss. Sam tells Mercedes that the youtube video got a ton of hits, and then he helps show her that she can really be a star. They are alone in a classroom, and then they kiss. However, with Brittany and Santana, Brittany applies to college for her, Santana decides she wants an education thanks to Brittany, but this is all decided and discussed in the presence of Sue in her office. Then, they hug. One of these things is not like the others. (The same situation happened in DWS with Klaine. They made up and resolved their issues in the presence of Emma. So they hugged.)

    These are three storylines, within the same episode, that each got equal weight. I would say Finn, Mercedes, and Santana all had an equal amount of screentime in SNG with similar plots and similar resolutions. But at the end, once their conflicts were resolved and they were comforted by their significant others, the gay couple was the only one who had a chaperone and hugged instead of kissed.

    Can this be explained away with something other than them (whether it’s Fox or RIB or whoever makes these decisions) not wanting to show the gay couple kissing? Honestly, I’d like your opinion on it.

  20. I made no accusations about reversed homophobia on anyone’s part and wasn’t even implying it.

    Obviously gay people know what it’s like to be gay better than straight people, and that wasn’t my point. The straight people involved in and supporting the GEP are not saying how gay couples should behave or that they know how gay couples behave, they are just showing their support for full equality for every couple, and asking that the gay couples be treated with respect, which is the same thing that we gay people involved in the GEP are asking for. Why shouldn’t people be allowed to be supportive if they want to just because “you’re not gay so you don’t know what it’s like”? Also, in order for straight people to know what being gay is like, it’s important for shows like Glee to show how gay people are just like straight people, and not allowing the LGBT couples to act like couples and making “being gay” someone’s definitive trait isn’t the way to do it.

    Obviously you do not support this campaign and don’t think there is nothing wrong with the way LGBT people are represented on the show, and that’s your right. However, I think you’re wrong in trying to undermine what this project is actually trying to achieve and how they’re trying to achieve it.

  21. Yes. The GEP has stated that the campaign isn’t about “shipper preferences”, but about equal treatment and gay representation. Brittana and Klaine are simply being used as examples because they are the canon LGBT couples. If Klaine and Brittana were to break up, the fans would still want to see the new couples get the same treatment the straight couples get.

  22. I would expect tons more time for Seblaine. The drama with those two, epic. Also, Blaine reads as a higher contact person, and Sebastian reads as one of those creepy dudes who uses touch to establish possession or hierarchy.

  23. Identity disclosure: queer (bisexual), female, cis-gendered, born in the 1970s. I’m cutting and pasting a lot of this from something I wrote on my tumblr; hope that’s okay. I didn’t want to use too much more energy on this today, but I was reading through the comments and thought hell, I’ll throw in my two cents, because no one has offered this particular perspective yet.

    As far as I see it, the creators of the show have the right to decide how much we see of any given character and how much and what type of physical affection we see between characters. Were I not in fandom, the level of affection between Kurt and Blaine displayed in the show would not have appeared at all problematic to me. It would have seem realistic, representative of the characters, and a nice relief from the heterocentrism I get elsewhere on network TV. The only time I might have been surprised to not see a Kurt/Blaine kiss would be in the kiss montage toward the end of “Nationals.” And then I would have figured it was an aversion to PDA, just like my aversion to PDA at that age. (And I would have figured that they didn’t show a private kiss moment because it wouldn’t have worked as part of the montage – they couldn’t do a private moment the way they did with Schu and Emma because it would have given a weight to Kurt and Blaine that would have been out of context with the arc of the episode.)

    And the perceived lack of Brittana kisses? I wouldn’t have perceived it at all. They have never been central characters in the show to any extent, and much of what we’ve seen of their relationship seems pretty unhealthy to me (“Pot O’ Gold”). I feel no need to see any more of it.

    If people want to write to the creators or to the networks for more inclusion physical affection between these characters, that’s fine with me. The thing I don’t get is when people start saying that they hate Glee or its creators for not “responding” to the fans. (Um, yes, I have seen that word “hate” used.) If I write a piece of fanfiction and someone else starts telling me that the plot should be different, my answer to them is that that’s a great idea – go write it. I’m going to continue writing my story the way I’m going to write it.

    The Glee creators have no obligation to change what they’re doing with the show based upon the input of fans. They can, if they like the ideas and it works for them, but they don’t have to. It’s their show. If it gets to the point where I no longer get enjoyment out of what they do, I’ll stop watching. In the meantime, I’ll let them take me where they will.

    And when I feel like something’s missing, I’ll create my own stories – fanfic, original fic, nonfiction, songs. For me, telling the story I want heard is a more powerful approach than asking someone else to tell it.

    So yeah, maybe the divide in this conversation is about people’s definitions of art and their views on artistic autonomy.

  24. SEBLAINE would be so hilarious. Drama drama drama and making out. Kurtofsky would be drama, very little touching at all (although possibly more shown as it would be a central plot point).

  25. I will try and fit in a rewatch soon. It won’t be super soon, but I will, and I’ll let you know. I guess it’s not something that has stuck out to me (much). But I will do a rewatch, as soon as I can. Might be my lunch break plan for tomorrow, you never know 🙂

  26. This is so interesting about the differing opinions between you and your friend. I have a theory, but I might be way off.

    I’m a 21 year old bisexual white woman myself, out to all my friends but not my family. To me, fair treatment for the characters on Glee is so important because it is so established as my capital-A-ally, and I kind of use it as a litmus test for people… watching Glee with my mum, for example, how does she react to Brittana scenes? is she comfortable with physical affection? – that kind of thing. Glee is a fantasy in so many ways, even while it pulls that fantasy apart in others (I think there is a disconnect between the ideal we have and what Glee actually gives us). I was super upset in the episode where all couples but Klaine got a victory-kiss, because to me that was a show that shouted and stood up about being my ally, but EVEN SO didn’t think queer characters were acceptable to show without certain limits (the idea that Brittana-kissed-so-Klaine-can’t, limit-on-queer-affection-per-episode). I felt betrayed by an ally.

    So I think this is because the LGBT people who are in the most restrictive places, or closeted, need to see the affection most – because yeah, we know it’s a fantasy, we know we can’t do that, but it’s also a message of hope. Kurt has been significant to SO MANY people as a symbol of hope, even while horrible shit has happened to him. We’re the people who can’t stand up and shout about our own situations, so we channel that into the representation on Glee, because as everyone here knows, stories are important. Glee changes people’s minds.

    Incidentally, I’ve also noticed a gap in opinions based on age – older people are more likely to be like, ‘well, it’s realistic, it’s appropriate, that’s life’, while younger people are arguably more idealistic. Differences of experiences leading to differences in expectation? Or because the people who need it most are the young queer people who are still finding a place for themselves, and not those who have long made their peace with it?

  27. I tend to agree with you that I think what glee does for queer characters is great. I don’t think that the show is particularly progressive or necessarily giving us something outstandingly new or great. I suppose that is where I diverge from a lot of people.

    And my reasons for thinking that the show isn’t progressive isn’t about how terrible it treats the queer characters, which I do have problems with, but more the many race fails and its rampant misogyny.

    Nonetheless, since no one else is going to say anything about it… one of the greatest things about the queer representation on glee is that so far we’ve had *three* different LGT characters of colour (Santana, Blaine, Unique).

    This is fucking amazing and more groundbreaking than pretty much any other aspect of the show’s representation.

    Especially with all the stuff I hear from fandom… as rare as it can be to get white queer representation in media, I see that few notice how much more rare it is to see QPoC in media. Particularly in a popular mainstream show like glee? Pretty much unheard of.

    You realize that pretty much the only time you see Black trans women on TV is when they are prostitutes or dead bodies? (“this is serious, a man in a dress is dead”)

    People going on about kisses, PDAs, and screen time when this is the first damn time in my life that I’ve had a queer Filipin@ character? Or a trans girl who isn’t some sad tragic story? Who gets to be celebrated and lead a freaking choir?

    Maybe white LGBT people have become so inured to seeing themselves on TV that they’ve forgotten how great it is to see someone you can ID with on the screen in a positive way.

  28. The thing is, in both views (art and commodity), you present two possible courses of action for fans: watch or don’t. In the art perspective, you recognize the third option (fan campaign) and dismiss it on moral(?) grounds. In this perspective, you seem to recognize the power that fans have in a group: whereas individual complaining is not immoral, a fan campaign “feels like” telling an artist what to do, and therefore is immoral. The individual behavior (complaining) hasn’t changed, so therefore it’s the massed power of fans that makes it “feel like” force. In this perspective, you don’t place any moral weight on the second option (don’t watch)–unlike a fan campaign, it’s not immoral not to partake in art that doesn’t satisfy you.

    In the second perspective, commodity, you place a moral weight on watching, because not watching would eliminate the income that allows Glee to exist as a progressive work. You also essentially dismiss the idea of massed fan power, the same power that exerts force in the art perspective. In this perspective, fans have only the first two options, watch or don’t watch, and their participation or lack thereof is the only power they have.

    You lend disparate weight to the moral force of watching vs. not watching in the two perspectives–you recognize that the choices are the same, and it is the perspective that changes the moral weight of decision-making in either context. However, when it comes to fan campaigns, your treatment of them in the two perspectives is actually totally contradictory: in the first perspective they have power, at least enough to make it “feel like” they’re telling artists what do to; in the second, they don’t–the massed power of fans isn’t even discussed, except as regards their power to disengage. However, it is presumably fan influence in the commodity perspective that lends force to a fan campaign in the art perspective.

    If you’re putting a different moral weight on watching vs. not watching in the two perspectives, it follows that you should do the same for fan campaigns, rather than acknowledging their power in the first perspective and denying it in the second. Or, if your take is that fans genuinely have no power (or rather, influence, to be more precise) on the commodity perspective, it should follow that they have no power/influence in the art perspective. Perhaps that’s what you were going for with “it *feels like* telling an artist what to do”, but the fact that you don’t object to criticism on an individual level certainly supports the idea that it is not the action itself, but the assumption of force, that creates the moral lapse.

    Essentially, you’ve arranged things so that the only moral choice is to watch Glee and therefore support it as a commercial enterprise. And you’ve done this in a fairly dishonest way, by acknowledging or not acknowledging massed fan power depending on whether or not it can be eliminated as a moral choice. After all, if fan influence *does* exist as a force in the commodity perspective, then they do in fact deserve a say in the direction of the show because they support its existence; if fan influence doesn’t exist as a force in the art perspective, then it can’t be eliminated as a moral option any more than individual criticism can.

    //The problem inherent in that scenario is that you will delete about 80% of queer representation on television if you get rid of Glee.//

    Presumably this would be the reason why the GEP is calling for change rather than dissolution. They aren’t organizing a boycott campaign, they’re organizing an awareness campaign. They’re letting FOX know that they are dissatisfied and why, and also letting FOX know that there is an audience that wants to see equal representation of queer characters, in contrast to the (assumed) perspective that there isn’t. Your recognition that there is a dearth of queer characters on television should lend weight to the idea that this perspective (that there isn’t a large audience for queer characters) is assumed by most networks. I don’t think attempting to counter this assumption is immoral.

    //There’s a lot of suspicion that FOX has been censoring the show of queer content. To be perfectly honest, when one of the actors involved spoke up at Comic Con without being asked and denied that, that settled that in my mind. Now that Chris Colfer has dismissed the claims as well, I don’t even feel like it’s worth suspecting anymore. Am I naive?//

    Yes, you’re naive. You quote Ryan Murphy saying that “there is no other show on network television that has done more for gay characters and stories than ‘Glee’ and I’ve fought hard for that”, but…who do you think he is fighting? Particularly his emphasis on *network* television points to the idea that it is network standards that account for the fact that network TV in general has a dearth of queer characters and stories, as opposed to cable.

    Look: networks have influence on the content of their television shows. Standards and practices is an important component of network involvement. Standards and Practices are “responsible for the moral, ethical, and legal implications of the program that network airs”. This is just a fact. And it is not *specific* to queer content–heterosexual content is also influenced by the dictates of standards and practices–but it is ridiculous to argue that it doesn’t impact queer content at all.

    Episodes like “Rocky Horror Glee Show”, where the issue of network interference has been aired fairly publicly, should be illustrative of the fact that the network definitely has influence on the content of the show, and in some cases, that say is prohibitive of queer content. John Stamos: “I was initially going to do the Dr. Frank N. Furter role, the Tim Curry role, but I think the network freaked out and said we don’t want to see Stamos in fishnets…again. So I play another role.” (http://www.eonline.com/news/202179/who-gives-john-stamos-a-lap-dance-on-glee) The director of the episode, Adam Shankman, “thinks he was specifically sought out to help tone down the musical’s racier elements. “Everything I touch turns ‘family,’ no matter how risqué it is,” Shankman says.” (http://www.tvguide.com/News/Glee-Rocky-Horror-1024697.aspx)

    As I said above, network standards and practices influence straight content as well as gay, so I’m sure the network’s attempts to sanitize Rocky Horror influenced the heterosexual content of the episode as well. But given a) how often “family” content is positioned opposite to gay content, b) how much heterosexual content persevered (“Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” in particular) in contrast to how completely de-queered that episode was, and c) Stamos’ opinion that the episode was deliberately de-queered by the network, I think the influence of the network on content, but particularly gay content, is pretty much undeniable.

    You yourself posted about the fact that the word “transexual” was changed in the lyrics to “Sweet Transvestite”, as well as the elimination of the term “transgender” from “Born This Way”, so you’ve previously shown awareness of the fact that choices are being made about what terminology they (writers and/or network) want to air on the show. I’m not sure why you think there is no influence on the action, despite acknowledging influence on the words, or if you’ve dismissed the elimination of “transexual” from several episodes as an extremely specific coincidence.

    My perspective is what it always was: it’s clearly not a case of Fox saying “no gay” and the writers saying “all the gay!”–it’s a compromise on both parts, with both parties aware of the fact that beyond their individual visions for the content of the show, there is also advertiser and viewer preferences to keep an eye on. For the sake of being “family friendly”, Ryan Murphy made a choice to be cautious with sexuality (in general, not just gay sexuality) in the second season; network standards and practices also exert influence on how sexuality is portrayed, just as a general rule (in both heterosexual and queer scenes). Murphy is clearly willing to compromise to maintain an audience, and episodes like “Heart” are an illustration of the difficulty of that compromise, given that he’s dealing with a portion of the audience that doesn’t want to see queers kissing, and a portion of the audience that does. (Which “Heart” acknowledges on a narrative level as well as a meta-level–the Brittany/Santana storyline in that episode is a statement to fans that the writers are aware of fan concerns, and also a nod to the fact that there are other viewers with opposite concerns, embodied by the complaints Figgins receives. If Figgins is FOX in that analogy, there’s no direct blame on the network–he also wants to see Brittany and Santana kiss–but he is willing to accede to complaints and enforce their dictates on Brittany and Santana. Brittany and Santana are forced to follow while attempting to subvert the order as much as possible.)

    Also, Chris Colfer didn’t actually dismiss the claims: he said that he feels like he’s constantly kissing Darren, which is a completely different matter, and also a completely subjective matter. I think his response shows a distinct gap between the experience of making the show vs. the experience of watching it. In actual fact, Chris and Darren have kissed three times *on the show*–that’s just a fact, whatever your explanation for *why* that is. But I’m sure the experience is heightened for Chris given his experience of multiple takes, and given that the experience of actually doing a love scene is different than the experience of just watching it, to the extent that it probably seems like he and Darren (and therefore Kurt and Blaine) have kissed many more times than has actually been aired.

    Lea Michele said a while back that she thought that Brittany and Santana had kissed *as many times* as Finn and Rachel, which is simply, factually, not true, but that was apparently her perspective–maybe when you have to casually kiss in that many scenes, they all just kind of blend together. Chris (and Lea) didn’t even address whether or not the network is intervening, they denied that a disparity existed altogether, which is just blatantly untrue. Not that I’m saying they’re lying–I’m saying their perspective is different, and what filming *feels* like for them is radically different from what is actually being aired.

  29. On a side note with Britany and Santana and PDA, lesbianism for a male gaze can squeak by in many places. Straight boys find it hot and not threatening. When Santana was outed, any same-sex PDA would cease to be cute and sexy; it is now a theat. Possibly even more of a threat when you add Britany and Santana’s sexual pasts to the mix. IIRC, cannonically both girls stated that there were multiple partners in their respective pasts (the guy I was dating when I came out confessed over Scotch several years later that he was a bit freaked out about what my being a lesbian meant about him. He was a good progressive dude so he didn’t have drama publicly, just some private freak outs. We were each other’s first everything but kiss…so yeah. So good progressive dude, minor private freak out, can you imagine a McKinley High reactionary, heterosexist jerk?)

  30. Hello! So, I’m a lesbian in my late twenties, and honestly I think the queer pairings are done very well on Glee. PDA and all. In fact, some of my favorite scenes are usually the ones where they highlight the fact that PDA is different when it’s a queer couple. It’s unfair, but the world is unfair to GLTBQ people, and the show does a really good job at showing that divide. Honestly I don’t believe most straight people really think about the details involved in a couple’s day-to-day life when they can’t share physical affection without worry. Am I the only one who thinks that being willing to say hug in public or even hold hands is on a different level than being willing to kiss in public? I’m not being sarcastic. I’m actually really curious. Like it’s this crazy thin line, but to me it exists.

    Also, looking back on the queer stories that stayed with me as a kid, or gave me hope, I had to think really hard about the amount of times the couples in those stories had kissed. What stuck with me was whether or not the story and characters were interesting.

    I agree with you in that I think large groups of fans really want Blaine and Kurt or Brittany and Santana to be the main pairings, and are irritated when they’re reminded that this isn’t true. That Kurt has less screen time than Rachel makes complete sense to me in how the show as a whole is structured, but how much screen time they charted he gets in comparison is amazing and speaks to the popularity of the character. I actually tend to see a really big divide on how people view the couples on Glee when I talk to people who, say, have no idea what a fandom even is. A LOT of people that I talk to outside of fandom adore the Will and Emma plot or only watch for Rachel or think Kurt’s voice is fine, but nothing to write home about.

    I’m also really curious about whether or not gay teens today share PDA in middle schools/high schools. If so, that’s wonderful, but that would have been a negatory when I was younger. (There was a rumor that two girls were maybe dating, and they got so bullied that one of them left school for the rest of the year) and I actually asked my mother who has worked in the same public Midwest middle school for the last 15 years, and she said never, not once has she seen or heard of two GLBT* teens holding hands or kissing in the halls. That while we’ve evolved, we haven’t gotten that far. She did say that she sees more kids coming out at a younger age, and was also quick to point out that gay or straight PDA isn’t allowed in most schools, and that the teachers are really quick to hand out detentions.

    So….maybe the most unconvincing thing about Glee is that Rachel and Finn haven’t spent a majority of their high school careers in detention?

  31. Ok, so I rewatched SNG. And hey, I actually know this ep really well. It’s the one I put on when I’m watching my nephew, because there’s lots of positive stuff with black characters being amazing.

    Also, we’re introduced to Unique in this episode, which isn’t exactly irrelevant to what the GEP seems to want, seeing as they use the acronym LGBT and there are no other T* characters in the show.

    Honestly, I get what you’re saying about Sue being there (it is frustrating, and does seem a little unnecessary), but structurally, Sue is often there when there are big things happening for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities, like Brittany. And Sue was also there to confirm what we may have suspected, that Brittany totally knew what she was doing when she was “helping” Santana get famous. I don’t think she’s entirely extraneous. Certainly not like Holly Holiday was in that ep. Ugh. But that had more to do with “OMG celebrity” blinders that the writers get. Also, Sam and Brittany were playing the role of trickster genie-in-a-bottle, and Sue is queen trickster. While Sam’s wish-granting went well, Brittany’s didn’t, and that required intervention.

    And in DWS, Kurt was completely unable to handle what was going on between him and Blaine. He did the right thing. He went to Emma. learned how to address things, and did. It was an amazing scene for me.

    And it’s really, really hard for me to take anyone seriously when they’re pointing to Saturday Night Glee-ver as an example of Glee not championing equality. In this episode, Glee introduced a black, trans* teenager and celebrated her. They even showed her having to explain herself to Kurt, who is usually “he who cannot be wrong”. In this instance, they let Kurt be wrong, and be taught. It was incredible.

    And it’s things like this that make the kiss-counting feel really cheap. Unique means more to me than some kiss-counting concept of equality.

    And I don’t know (and we will never know) if FOX is making RM fight for each kiss. I doubt it. But if he is rationing his queer affection, and in turn, giving them some seriously epic storylines (Personally? I can’t think of a single moment of dialogue I would swap for a kiss), so that he can introduce a character like Unique who has the potential to give hope to people who are normally completely invisible.

    And how can a couple be desexualised when they’ve referenced scissoring and — in canon — have a sex tape? Kurt and Blaine have discussed sexual fantasies.

    I’m honestly more convinced than ever that the things the GEP want are

    1. More kissing by Brittana and Klaine
    2. really boring, politically correct didactic stories set in a utopia
    3. An “equality” that excludes race, ability, gender presentation/identity.
    4. The show not to be about Rachel Berry.

    They should start using LGB instead of LGBT.

  32. I am a 19 year old bisexual girl.

    This is a reply to all the people who wanted to know whether or not gay kids were as physically affectionate as straight couples in high school. The short answer?


    I got an extremely progressive school in New York City. We have a really active GSA, openly gay teachers, and people come out all the time. But gay kids still aren’t as physically affectionate. You know what’s interesting though? Lesbians are far more affectionate in public, in my school at least, than gay men. I would sometimes see lesbian couples kissing, while I never saw gay couples do the same. So the fact that Santana and Brittany occasionally kiss (extremely chastely) in the hallways? Not a huge stretch for me. Remember, these are the girls who used to get free dinners for making out in public. Like it or not, it’s way safer (especially somewhere like Lima) for two hot girls to make out in public than it is for two guys. And come on, knowing their personalities Santana is much more likely to say FUCK YOU with a good kiss than Kurt or Blaine, who are both much more private about these things.

    Sidenote: My best friend’s girlfriend is from the South, and she is TERRIFIED of initiating contact. Her school told her that if she touched her girlfriend (even held her hand) in the hallway or at prom she would be suspended.

    I also agree with pretty much everything you’re saying. I just want to also add that safer isn’t safe. People bitched so much about the lack of kisses between Klaine during ‘Tongue-Tied’ and while I would have LOVED a kiss between the two of them I completely understood why they wouldn’t. Even in the choir room. These two boys, remember, have been harassed and assaulted for their sexualities. Neither Brittany or Santana have, not to the extent our boys have. They jump at loud noises, they flinch back from sudden moves.

    To put it simply, they have some baggage. After what they’ve both been through, why would you expect them to be able to make out in the hallways like Finchel, with their heterosexual privalege, or Brittana, who have never been attacked for going to a dance and in fact used to get bribed TO make out in public?

    Yes I would like more kisses between the gay couples. Abso-fucking-lutely. I was so mad when we didn’t get a kiss in Goodbye. But Ryan Murphy’s running 3 shows, he’s not counting kisses like we are. And, as much as we might hate it, the gay couples are OUR focus not the show’s.

    One final thing: I use this quote all the time when talking about Glee, and I think it sums up what you were saying about the show being heightened reality. It’s from The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

    “I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.”

    Glee tells us the story truth, because sometimes what actually happens in life cannot explain how it FELT. Glee tells us how we experience, not just what happens.

    (sorry for the essay on your blog. I just very much agree with you, and know that this is often times an unpopular opinion)

  33. I’ve been working in the film industry for a couple of years now and although I’ve worked for a couple of shitty companies I would never say anything bad about them in public, because I’d like to get hired again in the future. So it doesn’t surprise me that CC and DC would defend Fox in public.

    I’ve been following your blog for some time now and I know we don’t see eye to eye on this issue. But I agree with a lot of things the GEP says. I get that you can’t be openly affectionate in a public high school in Ohio as a gay couple ( I took part in an exchange program with a conservative town in OH once, so I really understand that – my host family taught their kids CNN was evil) but what bugs me is what others have mentioned before; that the gay couples always get chaperoned when they resolve conflcts. Kurt and Blaine were alone in Kurt’s bedroom in DWS but they fought, and they had to make up in front of a teacher while the straight couples could solve their problems in private.

    I loved glee in season two because I was still figuring myself out back then and I could really emphasize with Santana. But what Glee tells me now is that queer relationships are okay as long as they are not seen.

    Maybe it’s an American thing, I don’t know. In my high school in Europe everyone knew that the two junior boys were dating each other and no one cared when they held hands in the hallways or kissed.

    Glee may be progressive when it wants to be, but lately it hasn’t. I got a friend of mine to finally watch Glee with me epsiode 3×09 and when we got to DSW my friend told me she didn’t even know Kurt and Blaine were dating. That told me a lot about the type of series Glee has become.

    RM has stated that things will be different in season four because they will air an hour later. But personally I find it offensive that I can’t watch “my kind” during what is called family hour

  34. Ok, so this is what annoys me about that particular argument.

    I’ve been told this about myself and my wife, that we aren’t affectionate enough. That “we don’t seem to be in love”. So I dislike the “you have to be a certain way to be in love”. Or that we have to prove our love by being physically affectionate.

    And you know? I guess I feel like I do see “my kind” on Glee.

    And your point about CC and DC defending FOX — I’d buy that if DC was directly asked the question. But he jumped into a conversation voluntarily.

    If someone didn’t ask me a question directly, I certainly wouldn’t just jump in and start defending the company I work for.

    But yeah, I think S4 will be different for a number of reasons including the later time slot, but also the new situations they’ll be filming in — Kurt living on his own, for instance. Also, they’re older. Not all of them are “kids”.

    It’ll be interesting anyway. The new promo looks amazing.

  35. I didn’t mean to imply that you had to be affectionate in public, because how you show your love is nobody’s business but yours.

    I think what many of us didn’t like about the way Glee handled some story lines was that Brittana and Klaine had to be shaperoned when they were in a semi private setting and not fighting, instead of allowing them to resolve conflicts on their own or just letting them have a scene in a private setting, like the other couples on the show.

    Have to agree with you on the promo – probably because I still don’t like Rachel that much right now…

  36. hello, we have a few fundamental disagreements. the first is that, although i identify as queer (both in my gender and in my sexuality), i don’t think that straight people have no legitimate right to a place in the conversation about whether or not glee/ryan is homophobic. they are not magically right, or “unbiased” (what does that word even mean), and i agree with you that they certainly do not have a right to tell anyone how gay characters “should” behave, but that does not mean that they are incapable of, for example, calculating the minutes or moments of affection and finding that there is inequity of representation.

    the second is more subjective, although only because i could not find relevant factual information, like how much screentime has been devoted to each character on glee. you think the show is about rachel and will. i think the show is about rachel, will, and kurt. and if that is indeed the case, then klaine is wildly under-represented in the sexual/emotional development categories.

    my third point is not subjective at all. twenty minutes versus thirty-four is not “almost as much.” it is 59 percent. do the statistical analysis if you want. it is absolutely not “almost as much”; it is flagrantly under-represented. and if kurt is one of the main characters on the show, that is downright appalling.

    lastly, in general, the straight couples on the show are at least occasionally shown in morally permissible and actually-sexual situations. like when rachel and finn were explicitly not just allowed but encouraged by both of their parents to stay the night together. the only actually sexual (nuzzling noses while fully clothed is intimate, but it is blatantly non-sexual) interaction klaine has had has been a non-consensual almost-rape. that, including the way it was dealt with by the characters in the aftermath, is what convinced me more than anything that the show had homophobic elements. it also has pro-social homosexuality education, like with the “it’s just a moist towelette” and the “faggy lamp” scenes. i am grateful for many of the scenes that glee has aired on national prime-time television. that doesn’t give them a pass, it doesn’t mean i shouldn’t call them on this shit or let them pretend that their shit doesn’t stink, because frankly, it does. your expectations are low because the media has, time and time again, shown gay people as unhappy freaks, if they portray them at all (they usually avoid such a dirty topic). that’s sad. but it doesn’t mean that you should canonize ryan murphy as a saint just because he’s better than the average bear. true progress is made by people demanding quality representation, not by people that to say, “wow i’m glad the pinto only explodes in a fender-bender and not in a head-on collision.”

  37. I appreciate that most people in the world disagree with me. That’s cool. I was just setting parameters.

    For the record, the only data I can find regarding lead status on the show is awards submissions — Chris Colfer is always “supporting” whereas Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison are always “lead”.

    I don’t go on guesses. I take information where I can find it.

    And I consider 59% of the lead actor’s screentime for one supporting character of… how many? a dozen supporting regular and guest parts to be significant.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree, but I’d like more info on Chris Colfer being a lead actor in Glee for the last three seasons since everyone keeps telling me he is.

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