I recently heard this question asked while on my way to a class and it got me wondering.
Is ‘Glee’ too gay?
No. Well… but… I love Glee. Sweet multi-cultural baby Jesus, I love it so much. Still, it’s a mildly guilty pleasure because of how unbelievably stupid it is. More on that in a bit. About the gayness:
There is no denying that Glee panders to its gay viewers. If you disagree with me please take note that the show has dedicated entire episodes to Lady Gaga, Madonna, and now even Britney Spears. That’s pretty freaking gay. You see, I say “gay” in the most literal sense of the word here, excluding use of the word to mean “happy” or “silly”. I would never use it to express stupidity or distaste. I actually mean that Glee, as a whole, is very, very homosexual. If Glee had a sexual preference (assuming that Glee is male) it would most likely be attracted to other male musical TV shows. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Glee is a show made for gay people, which is kind of awesome. The fantastic thing about it is that it doesn’t solely attract gay people, which is proven by the scores of teenage girls ready to jump on top of Matthew Morrison or any of the excessively attractive male cast members. I don’t know if many heterosexual men are attracted to the female Glee stars, but if I were straight I would be. I think. Maybe… vaginas are weird.
I wouldn’t say that Glee is too gay, but it is pretty damned gay.
Which is something that I actually like about the show.
I don’t have any real problems with Glee, but I do see how stupid the show is. Thing is, that’s why it’s funny and that’s why it has fans at all. If the show took itself seriously it would essentially be an even more annoying Saved by the Bell… with singing. The writers have found a perfect balance of corny, soapy, and over-the-top drama while still being able to make fun of the show itself without undermining the character issues. For instance, despite the fact that Rachel Barry (Lea Michele) is annoying as hell and easy to make fun of, it’s hard not to feel (often, sorry) for her character. She’s sort of hopeless in a, “God, she needs gay friends to give her a makeover..” kind of way.
This column brings me to an actual point. Just what the hell does “too gay” mean? I started pondering the question when I heard this really annoying girl on the bus talking with her friend about how Glee has gotten “far too gay” and totally stopped being funny. She was the kind of person who’s pretty, fashionable, and a complete bitch. It’s sort of that “pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside” kinds of cliché’s, you know? She kept going on about how the show has become too much about gayness and not enough about music. Mmmkay, do I need to be the one to point out that music wouldn’t be what it is today if not for gays? We have our hands in everything and we tend to make things better.
Where’s the line? When does it stop being, “He’s too gay” and start as, “He’s just gay”? On the (semi)opposite spectrum, nothing annoys me more than when somebody starts telling me that I’m “not gay enough” or that I don’t come off as gay because it’s often followed with, “Why can’t more gay guys be like you. The rest of them are so annoying!” I’ve even been told, “You’re gay, not a fag.” Okay, really? In what universe is that okay to say to anybody? Worse off is when it comes from another LGBT person. I know that there is a stark contrast between, let’s say, Ian McKellan and Chris Crocker, but both are part of our loosely connected LGBTQQ2IAB”S” community. We cannot hate people who “make us look bad” in the same way that it would be incredibly stupid for heterosexual people to hate someone like Mel Gibson for being crazy and straight. He’s straight. Does he make all straight people look bad? Emphatically no, because that’s fucking stupid. If you need a reason to dislike Mel Gibson, hate him for being a crazy, anti-semetic, homophobic, zenophobic, moron who beats his wife and improperly uses the Bible to justify it.
Internalized homophobia is so very prominent in LGBT people. It’s not the flamboyant people who are “holding us back”, it’s the homophobic LGBT people who make it seem even more acceptable to hate on flamboyant men, butch women, drag queens, cross-dressers, gender-benders, transgendered people, etc etc etc.
I touched upon this in my previous article, “What the hell is the gay community?” but it seems to me that the gay community is too divided in this respect to ever be cohesive. When one half hates the other and dehumanizes them by assessing their worth in this way it makes for a very slow progressing civil rights movement.
So… stop it.
To read a weekly review of the show go to Kelli Fitzpatrick’s column, “The Glee Review”.