Glee is Putting Me in a Box

Jake Schlossberg Staff Writer With Glee kicking off its fourth season, a lot of people are talking about the series. While most sing the show’s praises, calling it “revolutionary” and “inspiring,” some, myself included, have begun discussing the problems that we have with the popular FOX musical comedy. Problems like their not so subtle racism towards Asians, their complete ignorance of the physically disabled in their casting of Artie, their glorification of a character who is physically and verbally abusive and, of course, the way they threw an issue as serious as teen suicide into an episode as if it were just another plot development. While these issues are undeniably terribly, I am here to detail just one. One issue that I identify with and find myself deeply angered by: Glee’s lazy and flippant treatment of gay characters. Now, I’ll be honest, the problems that I have with Glee are mostly related to the way they write gay characters. The gay population is a minority, even on television, so if someone is watching, it could easily be their only exposure to the LGBT community. I think that Glee’s representation of the homosexual community is highly inaccurate and, frankly, lazy. Let’s discuss Kurt Hummel for a moment. Kurt is a gay boy in high school who deals with bullying on a day-to-day basis. For half of the show’s run, he is lonely, and is dealing with coming out to his dad and friends. But let’s look a little deeper. Kurt, in his entirety, is a stereotype. Not only does he love musical theatre, but he is also crazy about fashion. He is a devotee of Gaga and Madonna both. Not only that, but he is an atheist, furthering the stereotype that all gays stray from the Lord. By creating a “living example” of virtually every gay stereotype in existence, the writers of Glee are legitimizing these stereotypes. The people watching who have never met a gay man could easily accept Kurt’s character as truth. That’s really not fair to the rest of the gay community, is it? Not only is Kurt’s character a stereotype, but he is only a stereotype. While issues like his relationship with his ailing father in season two and his rejection from his desired college in season three are issues that an everyday person might go through, the majority of Kurt’s problems are simply about being a homosexual teen. By making every single one of Kurt’s conflicts the fact that he is gay, you are reducing to nothing more than a gay character that deals with gay problems. Real people have problems everyday. They forget their keys, they skip breakfast, they fail a paper; these are regular problems. I know that burning your toast is hardly prime time worthy, but I’m sick of writers only writing homosexual characters in one way. Do you want to know how to write fully fleshed out gay characters? Write a character, and then make their significant other the same gender as them. There isn’t a difference in how gay people and straight people go about their lives. I slam my finger in the car door just like everyone else. So I don’t understand why gay characters on TV have to only be gay. It just doesn’t make sense. In season two, Kurt meets the perfect guy for him. Blaine Anderson, played by Darren Criss. The two are perfectly matched. Blaine is preppy, Kurt is urban chic, Blaine does pop, Kurt does Broadway, they even harmonize perfectly. The problem with their pairing is this: Kurt and Blaine are two of three gay characters on Glee. The third threatened to kill Kurt just before Kurt and Blaine met, so that kind of rules him out at this point. The writers were lazy in making the only two eligible gay characters perfectly matched for each other, and here’s why. Countless times, girls have come up to me and said, “Jake I know this guy who is perfect for you.” If they were actually presenting me with viable guys that I could date, that would be awesome. But they never do. Usually, in fact, they introduce me to the only other gay guy that they know. Because, obviously, we both like boys, so we have to be the same in every other way, too. It’s problems like this that are furthered by Glee’s treatment of homosexual characters. Needless to say, I will not be watching Glee this season. Rather, I will be enjoying my own life. I will be recognizing my burnt toast problems as truth, and I will be standing up for the fact that I am a person. I am an accurate representation of Jake Schlossberg, a fully fleshed out person.]]>