Weekly Gleek: Fondue is SO GAY

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Weekly Gleek: Fondue is SO GAY

that we’ve arrived at a time when our cultural narratives aren’t just talking at us, but talking with us. The Glee writers have said many times that the fans are largely responsible for the creation of the Brittana storyline; that simply could never have happened before Twitter and Tumblr and YouTube. Sure, you could write a letter to a show you like; I once wrote a letter to Kevin Williamson back in 1999 to tell him I felt it was his responsibility as an openly gay TV writer to put a gay character on Dawson’s Creek (and hey, what do you know, he did—probably not because of my letter, safe to say).

But when you can see with your own eyes that hundreds of thousands of other fans, many of them LGBT teens just like you, are writing in with the same messages and the same experiences in a public forum, it creates a bigger dialogue. It makes you an active participant in the unfolding stories that define your cultural landscape, and not just a passive subject. Personally, I think Foucault would have freaking loved this stuff.

 

I also think Foucault would encourage us all to defend Glee’s anti-bullying narratives against extremists like Fox in Focus, where guest Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association called Glee’s gay characters “product placement,” among other things, where "everyone in the theater becomes thirsty for that particular brand." This kind of backlash is nothing new or shocking; the far right in this country has always displayed extreme paranoia that any cultural messages of acceptance for LGBT people would lead to mass-defection of our youth from heterosexuality to homosexuality (apparently the only thing that keeps straight kids straight is a consistent, unfailing message that being gay sucks balls. And here I thought some girls actually liked that kind of thing).

Is TV Too Gay?: MyFoxHOUSTON.com

 

Whatever your opinion of Glee as a source of entertainment, it’s pretty hard to refute the positive work it’s done for queer youth visibility and acceptance in the mainstream media. It’s been the gayest thing on TV pretty much from the word go, giving us not just one, but several queer characters to look up to and identify with, each of them dealing with struggles and stories we can relate to. Around the world, we cheered in front of our TVs when Kurt returned to McKinley in all his designer top-hatted glory; and we cried (or at least sniffled a little) when Santana sang her heart out for Brittany, but chickened out at the chance to declare her love publicly and go to Prom with the girl she loves.

 

It’s a new and unique challenge, telling gay stories like this on primetime TV; on the one hand, we want to see stories realistic enough to identify with our own real-life experiences of growing up gay (and yes, I do realize that any statement about realism and Glee is somewhat tongue-in-cheek; but if we leave aside the production value and just focus on the interpersonal relationships, I think it’s fair to say that Glee has done a good job of keepin’ it real). If it were all too easy, if Kurt were at the top of the cheerleader pyramid and Brittana were voted prom queens, it would just be an escapist fantasy.

 

At the same time, we want to see uplifting stories that shine a light on that future the It Gets Better Project promises, not just for our kids, but for our culture as a whole. That’s a really tough line to straddle; and that ongoing dialogue between the show and the audience, that makes it a fundamentally intertextual experience, has had a big hand in keeping that self-reflective work front and center. It’s a brave new world, bois & grrlz; let’s not forget to make a joyful noise unto whatever deities you wish, lest our voices be drowned out by the haters who don’t want their kids (or anyone else’s) to see a positive image of queer youth on our airwaves.

Or perhaps they’re just offended by the sight of a fat cat eating melted cheese from a fondue pot.

 

 

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Comments [4]

Conlite's picture

I don't know about

I don't know about intertextuality, but I loved the bazillion guitars number!

Tiff's picture

Waiting to see where they go with this....

The next episode is called funeral. Sad

Conlite's picture

Before the funeral episode,

Before the funeral episode, there is an episode called "Prom Queen".  I assume we see all the divas duke it out, but Kurt actually wins the crown?  Then we have the funeral episode when all the divas get revenge by murdering Kurt?  :)

Tiff's picture

Hmm

I guess my eyes skipped over that one when I saw one called "Funeral." That would be awesome if Kurt one, but he better not be the one who dies. I really hope it's not his dad either. I was thinking either Karovsky or Sam. Don't know....