Staff Media Lead
We’re living in an age where the waves of acceptance and equality are sweeping across our nation. The “battle” for equal rights and marriage equality spreads beyond our borders and has become a global focus. The tides are turning in favor of the LGBT community, due greatly to hit TV shows like Glee, The New Normal and Modern Family, and the portrayal of “real” homosexual relationships, rather than the stereotypical assumptions of what a gay relationship looks like.
With two major same-sex relationships enacted on Glee, Britanna and Klaine to be specific, along with other hit shows that openly portray gay relationships; many polls have shown that the general opinion toward homosexual relationships has vastly improved. The Hollywood Reporter ran polling results last year that showed in the past decade “about three times as many voters have become more pro gay marriage.”
While there is still an ever-present disagreement among conservatives about the moral standards of homosexuality and the stance against accepting this “new normal,” gay-friendly entertainment is painting a picture for Americans that is making an impact in the opinion of equality.
Glee has tackled some intense themes during the past few seasons, from bullying, coming out, lesbian and gay relationships, suicide and death. One writer wrote back in 2010 that “Glee is changing the world one 12 year-old at a time.” She went on to say that her son and “lots of other kids – watch Glee,” and the show’s uninhibited acceptance is a lesson to be learned.
“As they [the kids] see it, if you’re gay, you’re gay. If you’re not, you’re not. What matters is that you’re human, you try to be a good person, and you try to love your friends, your family, and – by extension – everyone around you,” she says in her article.
Brittany and Santana’s relationship explored the world of bisexuality and a lesbian relationship that saw the ups and downs of what real kids are experiencing. Kids notoriously struggle with confusion about who they are and what they are feeling, but they are finding comfort in the representation of characters that are dealing with the same things and, through that connection, find answers and comfort for their own lives.
When Kurt’s character came out to his father, much of the world probably expected him to flip a lid and kick him out of the house; but instead, Glee chose a different path: acceptance. The onscreen struggle resonated within the gay community. Many a closeted young man has the ultimate fear of coming out to his parents, especially his father, so this episode brought a fresh wind of hope and courage.
Kurt’s relationship with Blaine, so dubbed “Klaine” by fans, has racked up somewhat of a cult following over the years. Through first kisses, infidelity, breakups, rekindled romance and engagements, their relationship echoes through the LGBT community and with Gleeks around the world. It’s real. It’s genuine. It’s something people can relate to because, despite the popular belief that homosexuality is all about sex and partying, there is a greater majority who aspire for a long-lasting and real-life love story with their very own soul mate.
Though not completely picture-perfect, which I think is why it appeals to so many; Klaine’s story has touched on the real topics and struggles of the everyday gay, and painted a picture of the beauty and pain of a same-sex relationship (and possibly same-sex marriage in the upcoming season).
Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on; whether or not you’re gay or straight, Christian, Jew, Agnostic, Atheist, black, white or blue; the fact remains that Glee, and shows like it, are portraying tough topics that have global focus and genuine impact on the opinions of the masses, but also the generally unreachable youth who feel they have nowhere else to turn.
To say that Glee has had an impact is probably a giant understatement; and although the end is in site for the Fox series, there is no question it has made an indelible and considerable difference for LGBT youth, the LGBT community, and has influenced the opinions of middle-ground Americans who are slowly coming out of the closet in support of equality and acceptance.