Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glee's Kurt Gets His First Gay Kiss... (spoiler alert!)

So in last night's episode of Glee, "Never Been Kissed" (you can watch it here) Kurt (played by Chris Colfer) finally gets kissed... only it's not what you might expect. It's the episode that really focuses on his being harassed and bullied for just being himself, for just being Gay, and shows a number of times where he's slammed into the lockers by a huge football jock/bully - it's physical intimidation that's shown as habitual, and when Kurt finally confronts this guy about what he's so scared of that he has to be so horrible to him, the jock kisses Kurt!

The Gay Kiss

Kurt's reaction

...basically revealing that the source of this guy's homophobia is his own conflict about being attracted to guys - his own conflict about being gay and closeted - his own self-hate.

It's a plot that's pretty much ripped from headlines, what with stories of all these extreme homophobes in our political and religious landscape who have been revealed to be Gay. Remember George Rekers? Larry Craig? Roy Ashburn? Ted Haggard?

Maybe we're approaching a time when anyone who is too homophobic, too upset about gay people will actually be seen by our larger culture as probably just another closeted, self-hating gay man, trying to throw us off the scent.

Like I've said before, I think we're approaching The Queen in Hamlet Tipping Point:

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

(Act III, scene 2, line 230)

We've seen it in our political world. In our religious world. And now, we've seen it on Glee.

We also saw what I'm guessing is a potential boyfriend for Kurt, Blaine (played by Darren Criss)

Kurt's New Boyfriend?

and that's pretty exciting. After all, with more than ONE out gay teen on TV, it takes the pressure off of Kurt to be the perfect representative for Gay people. The more representations there are of GLBTQ Teens in the media, the more of our stories are heard, the less powerful the stereotypes become - and then Kurt can just be Kurt. Fabulous Kurt. With the new hot boyfriend.

Okay, I'm a Gleek.

A Gay Gleek.

And I can't wait to see what happens next. What did you think of the episode?



Tess said...

I thought the episode was great. I really felt for Kurt. He has his first gay kiss, which is of course an awakening. But it was forced upon him, which was highly upsetting. I love the Blaine character, and hope he becomes a regular character. He's such a positive role model for Kurt! And so, so cute! I'm wondering if this football player will eventually come out in a later episode. He seems very hostile, and makes me a bit worried. But it's Glee, and so far nothing absolutely horrible has happened on the show. I also liked the friendly and supportive relationship between Coach Bieste and Mr. Shu. I love that this show sends young people the message that "different" is not equivelant to "uncool!" Well, I probably ranted more than neccessary. I've recently discovered your blog and think it's fantastic! Namaste!

fourth musketeer said...

I'm not a regular Glee watcher but I did catch last night. How can you not love a show that features not only a gay teen but a guy in a wheelchair? I can't think of any other show with someone in a wheelchair. I thought it was a really good episode...

Laurie L Young said...

I loved the episode. I love that Kurt finally has a friend who knows what he is going through, and who may be a (v. cute!) love interest. It's about time. I also liked your point that it's nice to have Kurt just be Kurt and not have to be the stand-in for ALL gay kids.

Liam said...

I totally saw Karofsky's crazy kiss coming. And I loved it (the episode, not the kiss) because I have a special place in my heart for Darren Criss. Meaning, I'm going to marry him one day.


Jenny Morgan Emrys said...

I thought this episode of Glee was really fantastic. I loved that Kurt is finally not all on his own - hooray! And I loved that the show portrayed that even small "slights" such as off-color comments made by friends can be insulting and hurtful. I also applaud the writers for not neatly wrapping up the entire issue. The jock is still abusive to Kurt - he didn't come out, he didn't have some sort of "breakthrough." Things are still sort of the same - except for the fact that Kurt has changed internally. He's found his "courage," prompted by finding some solidarity with Blaine.

The only thing I disliked about this episode was the fact that Kurt didn't ever appeal to an authority figure for help. I know how he feels about Mr. Shu. I was a gay teen once, and I know exactly why Kurt wanted to stand on his own.

But I am now an adult and a YA librarian, and I know that there are adults out there who care. Because I do. So I wish that the show had not perpetuated this stereotype of "unfeeling" authority figures. I know that's the way many teachers are perceived by their students, and I know how alone GLBTQ teens can feel. But there are those of us out there who really want to help and I don't want GLBTQ teens to keep on thinking that they have to suffer in silence.

Sara W.E. said...

You can't put "spolier alert" AFTER the spoiler! So harsh.

I did really like the episode though, even though Glee always walks that fine line between sincerity and cheese. Though I suppose that's the exact line walked by showchoir, so it seems fitting.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Thanks everyone for your comments (and kind words) so far.

Jenny, thanks for saying that. It's important for actual teens to know that there ARE adults who care, who will stand up, and who are working to make things better.

Sara, I didn't say WHO he kissed, and I kinda figured THAT would have spoiled it... But sorry if you still felt I gave too much away. (It's a delicate line, like show choir!)


Unknown said...

Here's the thing about Glee: Just when I think it after school special meets over the top musical, they do something like this. It struck me where I live, especially in the last scene with Kurt sititng on the floor, and the look on his face...

Glee rides that fine like no other show I've ever seen, and I love it. I supose that makes me a Gleek, too.

I have to agree with Jenny about it being sad Kurt didn't talk to a teacher, or even his dad. (And don't get me started on his fab dad!) But really, that's realistic, too, isn't it? I know I never talked to a teacher or my parents about what was happening to me. It's quite a sad comment on our society that our kids are so scared to talk to the adults who are supposed to be protecting them.

There are a lot of things Glee did right in this episode. The best thing they did was not flinch.

Jaime Samms

Ruth Ellen said...

Re: "I think the lady doth protest..." see this article:

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Ruth Ellen!
What a study!!! Wow!!!
Thank you so much for sharing that.

Steph said...

So I didn't actually watch that episode until last night.

FIrst and foremost I apologize for my inner angry feminist; Why the heck aren't there any lesbians on that show?! They're so cutting edge with the gay boy, and suddenly the gay quota just trebled, unless you count Rachel's invisible gay dads (by the way, how come they've never talked to Kurt in a sort of personal It Gets Better thing? They seem to be the only three gay people in that unverse). But no, all Glee has are those weird bi-curious cheerleaders, and goodness knows what's up with that. Do girls struggle with issues of identity and coming out and social prejudice? Apparently not.

Seriously, in our society it's more acceptable for two girls to kiss, but no more acceptable for them to be actually gay. Then again, Glee's target audience is fifteen year old girls and gay men, so I suppose they have to play to their demographic.

I do like the fact that Darren Criss is on the show. He is a much better image for the gays (I was going to use the acronym, but this is Glee; see above) than Kurt is.