Real Glee Equality

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Real Glee Equality Part 1

Post  Vir Cotto on 7/9/2012, 11:29 am

Real Glee Equality

I'll be honest, the Glee Equality Project bugs me. I can't shake the feeling that it's really just an excuse for shippers to agitate for their favorite pairings to make out more; and it's being pushed at a time when the fandom ought to be raising hell over the treatment of gay and lesbian characters on the show. It seems to me to be a distraction from the real issues.

There is an issue that I'd like to address because it's become pervasive throughout the show. It involves the way Kurt is treated in relation to the other gay characters on the show. I'd like to call it Real Gay vs. Pretend Gay.

It all actually started mid-second season with how Karofsky's status as a closeted gay student began to eclipse his actions as a violent stalker and bully, until at last it was swept under the carpet with an "I didn't mean it". Even when Karofsky effectively admitted the very worst of it, the death threat, in Figgins' office, there was no corrective action. Karofsky was not held accountable by anyone in authority; even Kurt was written to immediately forgive him as soon as he shed a few tears.

Even more troubling was that the sexual harassing nature of the bullying was completely forgotten. It was literally treated as if it never happened. Even when Karofsky returned in the third season with his crush on Kurt, which involved him following Kurt around and breaking into his locker to leave presents; the disturbing nature of his past actions was never even hinted at. If you hadn't seen early season two, you'd think Karofsky was nothing but a poor lovesick puppy, who was just suffering from an unrequited crush.

The problem I have with this is they way Kurt was treated by Finn over his own unrequited crush. The terms "no means no", and "restraining order" were thrown about, even though the word "no" was never said by Finn. The episode "Duets" seemed to categorize Kurt as predatory, and his sexuality as threatening. He received a smackdown not only from his "victim", but from his beloved father as well. Now, compare that to Karofsky who actually was behaving like a predator, and did, in fact, threaten Kurt. Where was his smackdown? Kurt had be shamed and instructed to carefully control his romantic interests lest he frighten the heterosexual public. As for Karofsky? Nothing. No lectures, no shaming, nada.

The question of why this happened has bothered me for a long time. It's easy to dismiss it as just another example of Glee's notoriously bad writing. However, after seeing how Kurt was treated throughout the third season, I've come to an unsettling conclusion. Max Adler is straight and Chris Colfer is gay, which translates in a weird, meta kind of way into Karofsky is Pretend Gay and Kurt is Real Gay. And, when you look at it that way, the way Kurt is treated, regarding his sexuality, what kind of respect his deserves, the bad things that happen to him; and more importantly, the way the show handles the aftermath of the bad things that happen, take on a whole new meaning.

There is a difference in how the Pretend Gays and the Real Gay are treated.

I want to explore this idea more, starting with The First Time: what happened, and how things would have played out if the positions of Kurt and Blaine had been reversed. Unfortunately, I have to go to work now, so I'll come back to it later.

Thanks for reading.




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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  fantastica on 7/9/2012, 1:03 pm

Vir Cotto wrote:Real Glee Equality

I'll be honest, the Glee Equality Project bugs me. I can't shake the feeling that it's really just an excuse for shippers to agitate for their favorite pairings to make out more; and it's being pushed at a time when the fandom ought to be raising hell over the treatment of gay and lesbian characters on the show. It seems to me to be a distraction from the real issues.
...

I agree w/ you on that. will write more later if I have time.

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Jellyrolls on 7/9/2012, 1:28 pm

Vir Cotto wrote:Real Glee Equality

I'll be honest, the Glee Equality Project bugs me. I can't shake the feeling that it's really just an excuse for shippers to agitate for their favorite pairings to make out more; and it's being pushed at a time when the fandom ought to be raising hell over the treatment of gay and lesbian characters on the show. It seems to me to be a distraction from the real issues.

There is an issue that I'd like to address because it's become pervasive throughout the show. It involves the way Kurt is treated in relation to the other gay characters on the show. I'd like to call it Real Gay vs. Pretend Gay.

It all actually started mid-second season with how Karofsky's status as a closeted gay student began to eclipse his actions as a violent stalker and bully, until at last it was swept under the carpet with an "I didn't mean it". Even when Karofsky effectively admitted the very worst of it, the death threat, in Figgins' office, there was no corrective action. Karofsky was not held accountable by anyone in authority; even Kurt was written to immediately forgive him as soon as he shed a few tears.

Even more troubling was that the sexual harassing nature of the bullying was completely forgotten. It was literally treated as if it never happened. Even when Karofsky returned in the third season with his crush on Kurt, which involved him following Kurt around and breaking into his locker to leave presents; the disturbing nature of his past actions was never even hinted at. If you hadn't seen early season two, you'd think Karofsky was nothing but a poor lovesick puppy, who was just suffering from an unrequited crush.

The problem I have with this is they way Kurt was treated by Finn over his own unrequited crush. The terms "no means no", and "restraining order" were thrown about, even though the word "no" was never said by Finn. The episode "Duets" seemed to categorize Kurt as predatory, and his sexuality as threatening. He received a smackdown not only from his "victim", but from his beloved father as well. Now, compare that to Karofsky who actually was behaving like a predator, and did, in fact, threaten Kurt. Where was his smackdown? Kurt had be shamed and instructed to carefully control his romantic interests lest he frighten the heterosexual public. As for Karofsky? Nothing. No lectures, no shaming, nada.

The question of why this happened has bothered me for a long time. It's easy to dismiss it as just another example of Glee's notoriously bad writing. However, after seeing how Kurt was treated throughout the third season, I've come to an unsettling conclusion. Max Adler is straight and Chris Colfer is gay, which translates in a weird, meta kind of way into Karofsky is Pretend Gay and Kurt is Real Gay. And, when you look at it that way, the way Kurt is treated, regarding his sexuality, what kind of respect his deserves, the bad things that happen to him; and more importantly, the way the show handles the aftermath of the bad things that happen, take on a whole new meaning.

There is a difference in how the Pretend Gays and the Real Gay are treated.

I want to explore this idea more, starting with The First Time: what happened, and how things would have played out if the positions of Kurt and Blaine had been reversed. Unfortunately, I have to go to work now, so I'll come back to it later.

Thanks for reading.





Excellent post, Vir Cotto. I want to respond to this later when I get home from work after I've had the chance to digest this more.

I'm thinking this would be an excellent stand alone discussion for the board, so if no one objects, I'm going to split this discussion out later.


Last edited by Jellyrolls on 7/9/2012, 7:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Real Glee Equality

Post  valkeakuulas on 7/9/2012, 2:49 pm

Vir Cotto wrote:Real Glee Equality

...There is an issue that I'd like to address because it's become pervasive throughout the show. It involves the way Kurt is treated in relation to the other gay characters on the show. I'd like to call it Real Gay vs. Pretend Gay.

The problem I have with this is they way Kurt was treated by Finn over his own unrequited crush. The terms "no means no", and "restraining order" were thrown about, even though the word "no" was never said by Finn. The episode "Duets" seemed to categorize Kurt as predatory, and his sexuality as threatening. He received a smackdown not only from his "victim", but from his beloved father as well. Now, compare that to Karofsky who actually was behaving like a predator, and did, in fact, threaten Kurt. Where was his smackdown? Kurt had be shamed and instructed to carefully control his romantic interests lest he frighten the heterosexual public. As for Karofsky? Nothing. No lectures, no shaming, nada.

The question of why this happened has bothered me for a long time. It's easy to dismiss it as just another example of Glee's notoriously bad writing. However, after seeing how Kurt was treated throughout the third season, I've come to an unsettling conclusion. Max Adler is straight and Chris Colfer is gay, which translates in a weird, meta kind of way into Karofsky is Pretend Gay and Kurt is Real Gay. And, when you look at it that way, the way Kurt is treated, regarding his sexuality, what kind of respect his deserves, the bad things that happen to him; and more importantly, the way the show handles the aftermath of the bad things that happen, take on a whole new meaning.

There is a difference in how the Pretend Gays and the Real Gay are treated.

I want to explore this idea more, starting with The First Time: what happened, and how things would have played out if the positions of Kurt and Blaine had been reversed. Unfortunately, I have to go to work now, so I'll come back to it later.

Thanks for reading.

Truly excellent points made here, admittedly on a subject that is really difficult and sensitive since it has blown discussion boards before. Does an out actor get treated differently when storylines are distributed? It certainly feels it's the only thing that gets mentioned, always, all the time, when something is being written about that actor in question. It happened with Luke McFarland, Michael Urie and I'm sure with some others. I feel even now uncomfortable writing about this, because there are so many sides and opinions about it and I feel toes are going to be stepped on anyways and for some reason it always goes back to the old argument that an out actor playing a gay character isn't really acting...that is a completely void statement since we would not have any good actors in the world then since most of them are straight (no puns ready for that, as Hollywood is filled with "straight" actors) playing straight characters.

I hated, no that is not the right word, I got irritated when during/after QaF Gale Harold became the epitomy of a straight man playing a gay man and later on Matthew Rhys in B&S. Harold and Rhys were good in their roles but why is a straight actor instantly better playing a gay character? I suppose it's considered as a strech and more difficult. And their character is seen often as more humble, talented, toughened...etc. And do the writers and creators of shows really think that a straight actor playing a gay is easier to portraite to the general audience...and I strongly feel this has mainly to do with out MALE actors not so much with out women. Which is a whole different double standard in the world outside Glee, although Jane is a good example, she is not always, all the time labelled as out lesbian in her interviews, is she?

Back to Glee: I never really have been aware about the actual sexuality of the actors playing gay men/boys in Glee besides Chris, as above mentioned reasons it has been well "cleared" for everyone in interviews and articles, but that doesn't mean I've not as a viewer thought about it and I'm sure everyone gets caught doing that and I feel silly and a bit embarrased about it. How that will affect writing...in Glee I'm sure it does at parts, since Vir Cotto pointed out it might be just their poor writing stamina but to be a major contributor...I don't know, I don't think they analyse at all what they release from that writers room. In general I think it goes back to the publics inability to separate the actor from the character, which on the other hand makes the thought behind your reasoning Vir Cotto even more of an horrible idea (idea, not you, as you stated), since if we see writers presenting Kurt = Chris for the double standard it would digust me and be appauling. Let's put that gay man in his place...no, no, no I'm not going to go there.

What I feel is that it goes right back to the standard writing in entertainmet: what is considered OK manly/masculine behaviour and what is not. If a clearly feminine man approaches a obviously highlighted straight man it's an abomination but visa versa a passing/straight-acting gay declares his love for the feminine gay it becomes brave. Unfortunately that is just something that gets done over and over in everything main stream even in the "liberal" media representations. It's an old pattern. That's why Tom Hanks' role in Philadephia was awarded: it was a difficult role to adapt, Darren gets compliments for taking on a brave role, Zachary Quinto can be Spock because he "passes"...I'm getting tired.

I'm not saying it's not important that straight actors are considered good as playing gay, but I wait for the time when it's not going to be a extra point for both sides: the actors abilities to act even "more" and lgbt societys visibility and acceptance. Articles in gay media stating that straight actors playing gays are allies is still a sign that that HAS to be put out there to make a point and emphasize. But the second a gay man plays, not even a stereotypical gay, but a normal mentally healthy gay it's bad thing and a hindrance for every side since it does not show diversity and can't be supportive.

I am maybe totally missing the point, since my point has been quite wandering and loooong, but I may return. And I realised I watch too much TV shows...
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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Glorfindel on 7/9/2012, 7:50 pm

(Copying this from the KHAT where @VirCotto posted too)

There was a big difference between how Kurt was treated for his crush on Finn and how Karofsky was treated for his harassing and stalking Kurt (because in my eyes, with their history, what Karofsky did in 'Heart' was very close to stalking).
In my opinion it's not so much because Kurt's actor is 'real gay' and Karofsky's actor is 'pretend gay', but because Kurt's crush was on a straight boy and Karofsky's crush was not.
The uncomfortable feeling a lot of viewers apparently got from Kurt's crush on straight Finn went meta in a bad, bad way. Not only dared Kurt crush on a not-gay guy (a straight guy's nightmare, according to the show itself), but his actor is also gay. In that way the fact that Chris is 'real' gay played a minor role in all of this. After ComicCon RIB overreacted to the fandom's narrowminded backlash and overcompensated with 'Duets'. That should have never happened.

It became a very nasty thing/comparison when the actor of villian Karofsky became very popular and the gay (!) community kept asking Ryan Murphy to write more about him and Kurt. So the bad guy and Kurt's tormentor of early season 2 got woobified, his actions and sins forgiven, and in season 3 RM couldn't resist (and he really should have) going the romantic route by letting Dave crush on Kurt and therefore put that kinky fantasy in the mind of all the gay guys who like a 'bear cub' 'giving it' to sissy Kurt (excuse my language, but that's how I see this).

Both situations isolated are bad, but putting them together and comparing them (and how could we not after "No means no" and a restraining order for Kurt, and a sexual harassment and death threat from Karofsky with absolutely no consequences plus him pursuing Kurt in 'Heart') makes this really a very bitter pil to swallow down. It's just plain wrong.
But I don't think that Chris being really gay and Max not has got much to do with it (and I didn't say nothing to do with it). It's just one of those stupid things caused by fan pandering that really messes up the storylines, continuity, characters and their motivations on Glee.

However: I do believe there is some truth that Kurt gets the mother load of the homophobic and 'gay' crap thrown at him because his actor, Chris, is gay. Both are the gay posterboy for Glee: Kurt and Chris. Chris' popularity and visibility in the gay community and to the general audience make him the perfect 'victim'/character to have 'gay' stories. The bad thing about this is that it barely ever gives him a win, or at least a purpose. He just is the victim over and over again, because they neglect to give him agency to resolve these issues. Now these issues just 'are' and they use Kurt to show that to the world: to make the audience more aware of them, but they never make Kurt deal with them, like he did in season 1.
Of course: a lot of this crap can't be dealt with, only endured, but because Kurt is the gay posterboy, and not Karofsky, Blaine or Sebastian, and because RIB only reluctantly write for Santana (because lesbians are not on the same level for RIB as gay guys), Kurt gets the punches and kicks in the face as if he's the only 'real' gay on the show, and in this regard he actually really is.


As for the Glee Equality Project:
I'm for it because there are some major issues wrong on Glee with the LGBT representation and this campaign points them out and tries to change things. But I must also admit that for a lot of people looking in on it from the outside (not the people involved themselves) it can seem that it mostly concentrates on the gay PDA and kisses. Not everyone reads the Project's tumblr meticulously and by making the PDA and kisses the first spearpoint to get the attention (and it is also something that can be documented/'proven' easily) you get exactly that: people will remember that strong focus point and forget or not read about the rest the campaign stands for.
This Wetpaint article about Klaine is sort of a reaction to that campaign, and it's about Klaine as a couple, not the overall treatment of the LGBT characters on the show. I honestly don't know how the campaign could have been handled differently and as effectively, so I get it and understand it, but sadly the PDA and kisses are the part of the campaign that gets the focus and what media and the general audience will pick up.

And although I'm behind this campaign, I also fear it overshadows the outcry to RIB/Fox over Kurt's very bad treatment during the finale and the waste of his season 3 story arc. It worries me that what happened to Kurt in season 3 will drown in all the LGBT issues the Glee Equality Project wants to tackle, especially since the spearpoint is the PDA and kisses of the existing LGBT couples on Glee, and the individual character Kurt being crapped on for the umpteenth time in the finale gets overlooked and downplayed because of it.
I know this is not the intention of the Glee Equality Project and I'm torn about this, but when it really comes down to it for me personally Kurt comes first, and the other gay characters come much, much later, because I'm not invested in them. I am for the Glee Equality project because of the principle and I believe the LGBT characters deserve a better (read: more equal) treatment/representation on the show and American tv in general, but as far as the characters themselves are concerned I'm a Kurtsie, and I want RIB/Fox to foremost be aware of Kurt and his future, and fix the mess they made of his story arc in season 3 with "I didn't get in."

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  anacedeustua on 7/10/2012, 1:06 am

My problem with the Glee Equality Project is that the lack of development for couples is not only restrict to the gay couples. We hardly see any contact between Tina and Mike or Sam and Mercedes. I think the problem is more because the writers have a (sick) fixation with Finchel and they forgot about the rest of the couples (except maybe Will and Emma).
I want to know if the fans are working some way to show they disappointment for the horrible season finale (or the whole season 3 in general) at Comic Con. I think is a great ooportunity because we can tell RIB directly to his face what we think.

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  fantastica on 7/10/2012, 1:26 am

Well every show has a focus. A big emsemble show like glee and others will have (too) many characters, but there will still be a major character/couple that get the focus. The writers have decided in the very beginning that Finchel would be the IT couple and hte focus of the show. See season 1. It's all about Finchell. They focused more on other characters on Season 2 but in season 3 they pretty back went back to their Finchel formula. The thing is by then people who are not Finchel stans are pretty much sick of them. I know I am.

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Divalicious on 7/10/2012, 2:17 am

I agree my main focus would be the way Kurt is perceived, his relationships are second. I also found the way Kurt's crush was treated, and how like a pariah this young, sweet, innocent gay boy was treated for the simple reason he had a.crush on straight boy. Kurt was very hesitant with a simple touch on the shoulder, whereas Karofsky grabbed and kissed him. The thing that offended me most was the no means no line, when the word was never used. Finn knew how Kurt felt, and whether he didn't just come out and say he was uncomfortable we will never know. Did he do it because he was afraid of hurting Kurt? Or did he secretly enjoy the admiration, because Finn is all about being popular and accepted.

I do think the writers do treat Kurt differently because Chris is gay, and a representative of the young gay population. But it is also because of the kind of the kind of gay man Kurt is, an effeminate one, that isn't universally accepted even among the gay pop'ulation. My brother thinks that most of Chris/Kurt fans are heterosexual females, because as a gay man he does not find Kurt attractive and assumes other gay men would feel as he does. It makes me happy that we have some actual gay representation in this board that supports Kurt/Chris.

So Kurt gets the double whammy of unacceptance from the public, you notice how carefully they avoid that with Blaine, who is smaller than Kurt, and would usually be in the more stereotypical submissive role. Nope, they make him macho, and irresistible to either gender. I don't know if that was to avoid the backlash that Kurt had received, or because Darren is straight.

Addressing that would make me more happy than a few more kisses

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Delight on 7/10/2012, 3:33 am

I don't know the details of the GEP, but with regards to the lack of PDA for homosexual couples (yes, I know that this is only one of the many issues raised by the GEP, and this isn't all that the GEP is about), I'll go with Chris's view on this-- In reality, in high schools or any public place, homosexual couples definitely kiss and hug less than heterosexual couples. It's just sensible 'I'm trying to avoid getting my ass kicked by potential homophobes in the surrounding area' behaviour. In this sense, Glee is trying to project reality (haha, yes, I know. Glee trying to be realistic is a funny concept). Maybe I'm giving the Glee writers too much credit with this; but with this reasoning, it actually makes sense to have the very little gay PDA shown on Glee.

Ultimately, I think the problem with the Klaine and Brittana relationships is more than just the lack of PDA. The writers can't write decent romance stories. Period. Any Glee character who becomes part of a couple will get personality transplants to some degree, or become a prop, or get forced into contrived relationship drama day in and day out. Finchel, the one romantic relationship on Glee that gets the most focus and storylines, is still a terribly written one.

As for the real gay and pretend gay issue, I'm of the belief that Kurt gets the horrible treatment on Glee more because Chris is capable of delivering the acting required for the dramatic scenes, and less because Chris is gay. The idea of the writers or TPTB on Glee using Kurt as a punching bag to indirectly smack down Chris himself is too terrible to behold.

Glorfindel wrote:
The uncomfortable feeling a lot of viewers apparently got from Kurt's crush on straight Finn went meta in a bad, bad way. Not only dared Kurt crush on a not-gay guy (a straight guy's nightmare, according to the show itself), but his actor is also gay. In that way the fact that Chris is 'real' gay played a minor role in all of this. After ComicCon RIB overreacted to the fandom's narrowminded backlash and overcompensated with 'Duets'. That should have never happened.

^ Couldn't agree with this more. I remember watching the basement scene in Theatricality (I haven't ventured into the fandom at that time), and I thought that was one very well-acted and emotional scene; and considered it one of the best acted ones in Season 1 of Glee. Even Chris was quite happy with that scene (before the episode aired and before things got unexpectedly ugly in the fandom), because it's one of those 'candy' moments for him as an actor. When I later found out how much flak Kurt had copped as a result of that, my reaction was pure puzzlement. When I found out how upset Chris had become with that question at Comic Con, I begin to seriously question just what it is about Kurt's actions that had these people's knickers in a twist and clamoring for Kurt to be punished for his actions. I really can't find an acceptable answer for this (oh, and I've heard plenty of arguments about this issue, on either side). Ultimately it comes down to the fact that there are people uncomfortable with the idea of a gay boy crushing on a straight boy. They try to mask the reason anyway they can, but it still comes down to that in the end. The fandom overreacted, and RIB actually listened to this noisy bunch and nearly destroyed Finn as a character to deliver that smackdown on Kurt in 'Duets'. Or maybe RIB+ deliberately overplayed it as a big middle finger to the outraged Finn fans-- 'See? This is what you asked for. Now suck it up.'
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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  fantastica on 7/10/2012, 4:56 am

I never understand the need for people to see couples making out on screen. Why don't they just admit that they want porn (which I do see a need for) ? phr34r

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  ColferInspired on 7/10/2012, 5:15 am

I think this is the type of thing this project should be really about. I found this on tumblr:

Hosted on my Blog: My Sister’s GEP Letter to FOX


Dear Mr Reilly,

I am a forty-year-old Glee viewer. I would regard myself as a member of the casual, but regular, audience although my son and my sister are more avid fans. However, I have been to Glee Live and I’ve bought the DVDs for my children and paid for itunes cards so they can download Glee tracks.

I am a mother of two children. My son, who is 17, is gay and his idol is Chris Colfer. He looks up to him as a role model and I am ecstatic by that since I can’t imagine a better one for my son to have. He fell in love too with the character of Kurt Hummel in Series 1 of Glee.

So why am I writing a letter in support of the Glee Equality Project? My sister told me about it and I was eager to write because I had to witness my son’s distress and anger frequently during Series 3. It was because the writers seemed to take delight in torturing the character. What was once a strong character was kicked in the teeth again and again and not allowed to fight or answer back against the people who insulted him, left him out of performances and rejected him. It made me sick to see a character that was lauded for being a groundbreaking portrayal of a gay teen turned into the writers’ whipping boy. It felt like you were all torturing my son. My son doesn’t expect to see him win everything. He does expect to see him allowed a fair share of triumphs and, when treated badly, allowed to fight back, not be martyred.

Kurt Hummel was allowed to be different in Series 1 and defy expectations. This inspired my son. I hope that he will be allowed to do so again in Series 4 in New York rather than his whole story being sublimated to the story of Rachel Berry and rather than Mr Murphy and the other writers making him a passive victim.

Thank you.

http://georgette888.tumblr.com/post/26696056344/hosted-on-my-blog-my-sisters-gep-letter-to-fox

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  BlueJazz on 7/10/2012, 7:09 am

anacedeustua wrote:My problem with the Glee Equality Project is that the lack of development for couples is not only restrict to the gay couples. We hardly see any contact between Tina and Mike or Sam and Mercedes. I think the problem is more because the writers have a (sick) fixation with Finchel and they forgot about the rest of the couples (except maybe Will and Emma).
I want to know if the fans are working some way to show they disappointment for the horrible season finale (or the whole season 3 in general) at Comic Con. I think is a great ooportunity because we can tell RIB directly to his face what we think.

Welcome to CCFF, anacedeustua hola I'm glad that you finally posted Smile Can you please introduce yourself in "Welcome Board" thread? I think a lot of us wanna know more about you neutre Are you from any other forums?

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Jellyrolls on 7/10/2012, 7:55 am

anacedeustua wrote:My problem with the Glee Equality Project is that the lack of development for couples is not only restrict to the gay couples. We hardly see any contact between Tina and Mike or Sam and Mercedes. I think the problem is more because the writers have a (sick) fixation with Finchel and they forgot about the rest of the couples (except maybe Will and Emma).

You make an excellent point here, anadeustua (and welcome to the board, btw--I hope you'll join in more discussions with us). There definitely is a lot of focus on finchel. I haven't spent too much time following what the GEP is doing, but I recall that they had a chart showing the number of kisses between the straight couples and the number of kisses between the gay couples. Has it been broken down to show how many of those straight kisses were between Finchel.

I think part of the PDA issue stems from the fact that there are so many gay characters on the show. Let's face it, a show that is now geared towards a younger audience will not have heavy gay PDA and kissing. Since they have a gay couple and a lesbian couple, the PDA has to be split amongst them. The inequality of the PDA wouldn't be so noticable if there was only one gay couple on the show. In some ways the fans pushing for Brittania to be a couple is part of the problem.

I also think that part of the reason why we don't get good storylines between the couples is because in both couples, one of the actors is much stronger than the the other actor in the couple. Brittana can't have meaningful conversations because Heather can't speak clearly. Darren doesn't have the range to handle the emotional stuff, so that limits what they can do with Klaine.

I have more to say on his, but I have a bus to catch so it wll have to wait.

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Vir Cotto on 7/10/2012, 11:47 am

Real Equality Part 2: The West Side Story Fiasco

We all know the details: Kurt decides to audition for the role of Tony in WSS, the school play. He shows up and performs the wonderful, but highly inappropriate for the role he's trying to get, I'm the Greatest Star. Bieste, Emma, and Artie praise his performance; then go off and make comments about his toothpick arms, his obvious gayness, and his failure to excite Bieste's lady parts. Kurt eavesdrops on the conversation, panics and enlists Rachel to perform a scene from Romeo and Juliet (complete with period costumes) to prove he can play straight. This was, perhaps, not the smartest move. His performance elicits laughter not only 1from the trio of producers, but also from Rachel, his acting partner as well. He runs off the stage humiliated.

Later he tells his beloved father, Burt, that he's depressed because his obvious gayness will prevent him from getting anything but a handful of roles. Burt, the voice of wisdom, doesn't tell him to try harder, or never give up, or even to chose his audition material with more care. What he tells him is that WSS is a story about a street gang and his shouldn't have expected to get cast in such a play (because of his obvious gayness). He then suggest that Kurt write his own roles. There's tinkly music when he makes this pronouncement, to let the audience know that this is an allusion to Chris Colfer writing his own roles .

Blaine then auditions for the play. Everybody loves him, and he is offered the part of Tony. Kurt is watching and is disappointed. Later, Kurt gives Blaine flowers to show his support. Finally, the cast list is posted, and to no one's surprise, Blaine has the role of Tony. Kurt gets the part of Officer Krupke, the only non-singing, non-dancing role in the play.

After this, much time is spent on WSS. Bieste forces her unwilling football players to participate. Mike has a family drama about his desire to be a dancer. Mercedes throws a diva fit because she didn't win the part of Maria outright against Rachel. She goes off to form what will eventually be the bittercakes group, The Troubletones. There's also much singing and dancing by virtually all of the "kid" cast, except Finn who's angsting over something else, and I believe, Quinn, who was still crazy at that point. Kurt does not participate in any of this because, of course, Officer Krupke doesn't sing or dance.

After the performance, Blaine tells Kurt he did well in his tiny role, and pulled focus. This is another allusion to Chris, who's just so darn talented and gay.

WSS marks the one and only time that anybody on Glee was denied the opportunity to sing and dance because of their sexuality. Glee has associated itself with the Trevor Project and "It Gets Better", and has relished in it's role as an iconic gay show. Yet, they had Kurt stand in the background, unable to sing and dance on stage with the other kids because he was too gay.

Fans have tried to pull a different meaning out of all this. Perhaps Kurt just needed to learn how to audition better, with gender appropriate material, that still reflected his personality. And, he eventually did that in Choke. Once again, his effort were praised; and once again he was passed over.

What happened in WSS was never addressed again. There was never any in-story suggestion that Bieste, Emma, and Artie were being unfair, or that their decision was in any way wrong. I've come to the conclusion that message of the story was exactly what it appeared to be : Kurt was too gay for anything but the most minor, non singing, non dancing role in the play. Burt's agreement with this is the clinching evidence that this what the writer meant to say.

Kurt, Glee's only gay character played by a gay actor, has now been separated from the other characters, straight and gay, because only his sexuality is labeled unacceptable for certain performances. Kurt is now the only character who is not being judged solely for his talent, but for his sexuality as well. Blaine, Brittany, and Santana are not treated this way. Even though Blaine has a taste for female power ballads, his sexuality is not used to judge him.

My question is why? Why is Kurt, played by gay Chris Colfer, the only one who's sexuality plays a part in whether he gets to perform or not? Why not Blaine, or Brittany, or Santana, all played by straight actors?
Glee never answered this question as it continued on it's merry way, mocking and ridiculing Kurt for his obvious gayness at every opportunity.
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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Glorfindel on 7/10/2012, 11:57 am

Jellyrolls wrote:There definitely is a lot of focus on finchel. I haven't spent too much time following what the GEP is doing, but I recall that they had a chart showing the number of kisses between the straight couples and the number of kisses between the gay couples. Has it been broken down to show how many of those straight kisses were between Finchel.
I counted them, and I think (sometimes the video went very fast) Finchel had 26 of the 51 straight couple kisses in season 3, which is repulsive imo, ewww. vomit2

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Jellyrolls on 7/10/2012, 12:34 pm

Glorfindel wrote:
Jellyrolls wrote:There definitely is a lot of focus on finchel. I haven't spent too much time following what the GEP is doing, but I recall that they had a chart showing the number of kisses between the straight couples and the number of kisses between the gay couples. Has it been broken down to show how many of those straight kisses were between Finchel.
I counted them, and I think (sometimes the video went very fast) Finchel had 26 of the 51 straight couple kisses in season 3, which is repulsive imo, ewww. vomit2

So that gave Finchel 50 percent of the straight kisses (possibly more). Do you know if Wemma is included in that 51? Or are they just including the students?

I mean, clearly, Glee is and always have been a show where the motto is Rachel first and foremost, so it's not surprising that her and Finn dominated it. But when you think about Finchel having half of the straight kisses, and the other 25 being split amongst the other straight couples, it doesn't make it look like as big of an gay v. straight kisses problem as it is a Finchel v. everyone else problem.

ETA: Just to be clear, the lack of development with Klaine and Brittania is definitely an issue, but I still in part blame that on the fact that each couple contains one partner who is a significantly stronger actor than the other partner in the couple, and also in part to the fact that there are two prominant gay couples. I think we'd see better gay storylines if Kurt was partnered with a stronger actor, and him and that partner were the only gay couple on the show.

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Glorfindel on 7/10/2012, 12:46 pm

Vir Cotto wrote:My question is why? Why is Kurt, played by gay Chris Colfer, the only one who's sexuality plays a part in whether he gets to perform or not? Why not Blaine, or Brittany, or Santana, all played by straight actors?
I have 2 answers, 1 in-show answer, 1 outside the show.

The in-show answer is that Kurt is not 'just' gay, but an effeminate gay. In season 1 that didn't matter (in the performances) because Kurt was the only gay character, and his effeminacy was a 'funny' quirk but it didn't define his personality and it didn't limit him (on the contrary: it was an advantage). With Blaine, Karofsky, Sebastian (and Santana and Brittany, but they are girls) in the mix, especially in season 3, they apparently needed to differentiate the gays (because all gays look alike, right?) and Blaine became the alpha male gay, Karofsky became the closeted gay jock, Sebastian the gay predator and Kurt the sissy gay. As disgusting as that sounds, I think that is what happened.
Added to that was the "Let's write in an obstacle on the road to NYADA for Kurt" and suddenly Kurt could not pass for straight anymore on stage, when that never was a problem before. Then new shiny toys took over and the effemiphobia issue was dropped and diverted/twisted into the NTBND performance/solution. And that performance left a really bad taste in our mouths because they couldn't resist the drama of Kurt not getting into NYADA (and that also had an effect on the WSS plot in hindsight, though RIB never thought back that far, the stupid morons).


The outside the show answer is nastier, and I think here Chris being 'really' gay does play a part. Darren, Max Adler and Grant Gustin are all considered heartthrobs and very sexy to the audience, especially to the teenage girls and a large population of gay men who prefer the masculine type. They are sexy to many groups, and they are straight (but could be bi with a little imagination and speculation). In shallow terms: their bodily appearances sell.
Before Chris became the hot guy he is now after his impressive growth spurt, he was not that young screaming-teenage-girls heartthrob that Glee could exploid in a shallow way. And he came out as being 'really' gay very early on, so any thoughts of keeping that under wraps (and Fox tried) was gone. So Chris was only marketable (in a shallow sexy way) to a small niche of fans.

Now things have changed of course. The media, the fans, the general viewers: all have noticed that mother Nature was a little late but did just fine with mr. Colfer, and he's considered hot and eligible now. But Chris initially has gotten popular in the beginning not because of his outside, but because of his inside. And it's quite ironic that Chris still doesn't have to take off his shirt to be sexy: his sex-appeal is not limited to his looks, but it is also because of his brain and demeanour: being smart can be very sexy.
But Kurt, his effeminate character, still limits their (Kurt/Chris) market value when it comes down to the 'masculine-can-pass-for-straight-sexy' shallowness of showbizz: unfortunately effeminate gays are not that attractive (to a big part of the gay community and the GA). People can't keep Kurt and Chris apart so it's hard for teenage girls to romantically/sexual fantasize about Kurt, and Chris keeps crushing their hopes because he's still really, really gay, and not conveniently bi.

And I think that TPTB of Glee keep pushing Blaine (and Karofsky and Sebastian) as the hot, masculine sexy gays because that's all they are: hot and sexy: RIB/Fox neglected to give them more than that, eg. storylines and character development.
In the mean time Kurt is the gay guy viewers sympathised with from the start: he wasn't written in as the sexy boyfriend of, or the predator in the gay triangle, and Kurt is the one with the heart breaking gay stories. RIB/Fox still try to recreate the critical acclaim/succes they had with Kurt coming out to his dad, but they are failing. Blaine can only be gay as part of Klaine, but we have to forget that little detail about heartthrob Blaine the rest of the time, to keep him marketable. So they give Kurt all the gay conflicts, the hills for him to climb alone, but then they botch it and don't follow up. The stories on Glee got too gay and got in the way of selling rehashed pop songs on iTunes, other interestiing things distracted RIB and Kurt in WSS got no resolution at all.
It's sad, it's stupid and it's disrespectful towards the character Kurt, and in a way to his actor Chris. But it's Glee.


Last edited by Glorfindel on 7/10/2012, 12:53 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : It's hard to concentrate on grammar when there's a thunderstorm going on outside the caravan.)

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Glorfindel on 7/10/2012, 12:50 pm

Jellyrolls wrote:So that gave Finchel 50 percent of the straight kisses (possibly more). Do you know if Wemma is included in that 51? Or are they just including the students?
The kisses count includes Wemma (who I think are 2nd when it comes to straight couple kisses).

And (from memory) it includes Tike, Samcedes, Brittana when played by Kevin and Amber, Sue and Cooter, Sue and Cooper (and I probably forgot some).

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Buenos on 7/10/2012, 1:34 pm

But Kurt, his effeminate character, still limits their (Kurt/Chris) market value when it comes down to the 'masculine-can-pass-for-straight-sexy' shallowness of showbizz: unfortunately effeminate gays are not that attractive (to a big part of the gay community and the GA). People can't keep Kurt and Chris apart so it's hard for teenage girls to romantically/sexual fantasize about Kurt, and Chris keeps crushing their hopes because he's still really, really gay, and not conveniently bi.

Ironically part of it is Chris being such a good actor. Character Kurt is more effeminate than the actor Chris Colfer but people can't separate the two. Just like there are actors who are more effeminate in real life but when in character play someone more supposedly macho or masculine. From what I've read about "SBL", Chris' character Carson is 180 degrees different from Kurt.
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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Divalicious on 7/10/2012, 1:50 pm

Vir Cotto wrote:Real Equality Part 2: The West Side Story Fiasco

We all know the details: Kurt decides to audition for the role of Tony in WSS, the school play. He shows up and performs the wonderful, but highly inappropriate for the role he's trying to get, I'm the Greatest Star. Bieste, Emma, and Artie praise his performance; then go off and make comments about his toothpick arms, his obvious gayness, and his failure to excite Bieste's lady parts. Kurt eavesdrops on the conversation, panics and enlists Rachel to perform a scene from Romeo and Juliet (complete with period costumes) to prove he can play straight. This was, perhaps, not the smartest move. His performance elicits laughter not only 1from the trio of producers, but also from Rachel, his acting partner as well. He runs off the stage humiliated.

Later he tells his beloved father, Burt, that he's depressed because his obvious gayness will prevent him from getting anything but a handful of roles. Burt, the voice of wisdom, doesn't tell him to try harder, or never give up, or even to chose his audition material with more care. What he tells him is that WSS is a story about a street gang and his shouldn't have expected to get cast in such a play (because of his obvious gayness). He then suggest that Kurt write his own roles. There's tinkly music when he makes this pronouncement, to let the audience know that this is an allusion to Chris Colfer writing his own roles .

Blaine then auditions for the play. Everybody loves him, and he is offered the part of Tony. Kurt is watching and is disappointed. Later, Kurt gives Blaine flowers to show his support. Finally, the cast list is posted, and to no one's surprise, Blaine has the role of Tony. Kurt gets the part of Officer Krupke, the only non-singing, non-dancing role in the play.

After this, much time is spent on WSS. Bieste forces her unwilling football players to participate. Mike has a family drama about his desire to be a dancer. Mercedes throws a diva fit because she didn't win the part of Maria outright against Rachel. She goes off to form what will eventually be the bittercakes group, The Troubletones. There's also much singing and dancing by virtually all of the "kid" cast, except Finn who's angsting over something else, and I believe, Quinn, who was still crazy at that point. Kurt does not participate in any of this because, of course, Officer Krupke doesn't sing or dance.

After the performance, Blaine tells Kurt he did well in his tiny role, and pulled focus. This is another allusion to Chris, who's just so darn talented and gay.

WSS marks the one and only time that anybody on Glee was denied the opportunity to sing and dance because of their sexuality. Glee has associated itself with the Trevor Project and "It Gets Better", and has relished in it's role as an iconic gay show. Yet, they had Kurt stand in the background, unable to sing and dance on stage with the other kids because he was too gay.

Fans have tried to pull a different meaning out of all this. Perhaps Kurt just needed to learn how to audition better, with gender appropriate material, that still reflected his personality. And, he eventually did that in Choke. Once again, his effort were praised; and once again he was passed over.

What happened in WSS was never addressed again. There was never any in-story suggestion that Bieste, Emma, and Artie were being unfair, or that their decision was in any way wrong. I've come to the conclusion that message of the story was exactly what it appeared to be : Kurt was too gay for anything but the most minor, non singing, non dancing role in the play. Burt's agreement with this is the clinching evidence that this what the writer meant to say.

Kurt, Glee's only gay character played by a gay actor, has now been separated from the other characters, straight and gay, because only his sexuality is labeled unacceptable for certain performances. Kurt is now the only character who is not being judged solely for his talent, but for his sexuality as well. Blaine, Brittany, and Santana are not treated this way. Even though Blaine has a taste for female power ballads, his sexuality is not used to judge him.

My question is why? Why is Kurt, played by gay Chris Colfer, the only one who's sexuality plays a part in whether he gets to perform or not? Why not Blaine, or Brittany, or Santana, all played by straight actors?
Glee never answered this question as it continued on it's merry way, mocking and ridiculing Kurt for his obvious gayness at every opportunity.

How many times can I say "THIS" and hit the non-existent "Like" button?

It is Kurt torture-porn. The others cannot do angst. Naya is getting more range, but she doesn't have the subtlety, yet, to show the angst that Chris does so well. Not only is Chris the only gay actor, but he is the only one with an unusual voice. Heather doesn't have a remarkable voice, and is autotuned to hell, like a pop princess. Blaine isn't exceptional, but he blends well with others. Naya has a more powerful voice, but has her niche. Chris is a little more unique, and that also limits how the writers choose to use him, because they have a focus on what sells. Although, I think if he had more varied songs, people would discover his voice and range. As long as he is singing only rarely, the small minded will continue to say it is because people don't like his voice. Whereas I say, the more I hear his voice the more I love it. It has warmth and richness that is lacking from most of the power belters. I rarely feel anything with Lea's singing, I acknowledge it is powerful and lovely, but I don't get emotion from it. That is just how I perceive it.

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Jellyrolls on 7/10/2012, 2:27 pm

Glorfindel wrote:
Jellyrolls wrote:So that gave Finchel 50 percent of the straight kisses (possibly more). Do you know if Wemma is included in that 51? Or are they just including the students?
The kisses count includes Wemma (who I think are 2nd when it comes to straight couple kisses).

And (from memory) it includes Tike, Samcedes, Brittana when played by Kevin and Amber, Sue and Cooter, Sue and Cooper (and I probably forgot some).

So, when you think about that 26 our of 51 kisses went to Rachel, and lets say 5-10 went to Weema (I'm just guessing), the rest of the straight characters had 15-20, there were probably really only 2-4 each for the other couples at most, so when you think of 2 or 3 each for Klaine and Brittana it isn't that bad compared to the other couples who aren't Finchel or Wemma.

Let's face it, the couples with the best development have the most kisses, and that's Finchel and Wemma. Finchel are the real power couple. Klaine is not a power couple but they each have their own power (Kurt with the drama, and Blaine with the singing).

It really all goes back to the cast being too damn big to do anyone but Finchel real justice as a couple.

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  CloveGlee on 7/10/2012, 2:59 pm


I am sympathetic to this goals of this movement, but not to their methods or their emphasis. They are focusing on the wrong aspects of this issue.

A lot of fans on tumblr fetishize the gay relationships. There really are a lot of people who want to see gay couples make out for reasons that are not connected to social justice or political action. The fact that the campaign is focusing so heavily on PDA is a real problem, because it fuels that perception that the campaign is about wanting to see that.

I think the single greatest damage Glee has done to its gay tolerance message this year was to ratify the idea that it's a bad thing to be a gay guy who can't pass for straight. I feel like they listened to fans who preferred Blaine and Dave because they were less effeminate than Kurt, and made them more prominent. I am not sure they really meant to leave us with the impression that Kurt was inferior. There's a difference between being inferior and being treated as inferior, but this year, they were basically the same. That is a much more serious problem than the lack of gay PDA on Glee.

The fact that the fans are screaming for Brittana to have equal footing with Klaine is also problem. Brittany will never be an effective actress for a lesbian relationship. The actress is limited and the character is an idiot. I know some folks want to see an effective lesbian couple, but it will never be, cannot be, Brittana.

I do not think that problem is as bad with Klaine. Chris elevates Darren to better work. D's not a brilliant actor, but he's OK. However, the inherent imbalance in this romance, with Blaine presented as superior to Kurt, is also a problem.

This is the stuff they need to complain about, rather than PDA. And yes, Finchel gets all the attention because they are the only straight couple with two competent actors.

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Re: Real Glee Equality

Post  Jellyrolls on 7/10/2012, 4:46 pm

Pre-Blaine Kurt is a very different character than post-Blaine Kurt. When I think back to pre-Blaine Kurt, that is the Kurt who was iconic and ground-breaking. That was the Kurt who faced issues that kids like Kurt faced, and he found ways to overcome them. And not only did he find ways to overcome those issues, he found ways to do it with heart that made the audience really care about him. He was strong, and he was fierce. He was confident and comfortable with who he was, and didn’t hide it.

You really have to give Chris a lot of credit for who Kurt was in season 1 and the first third of season 2. So often on American TV, the flamboyant effeminate gay is played as a big joke. But though Chris’ Kurt is effeminate and flamboyant, he wasn’t really the over-exaggerated joke that appears on a lot of American TV shows--it’s just who Kurt is.

Post-Blaine Kurt is very different. Kurt went from being the strong, iconic character to being something that has slowly become unrecognizable to what he once was. Instead of being strong and fierce character that he had been for a season and a third, he turned into a love sick little puppy pining over a guy who didn’t really have an interest in being involved with him romantically--a guy who also happened to be the first out gay guy Kurt ever interacted with. Even when season one Kurt was crushing on Finn, he never wasn’t a love sick puppy--he still had his fierceness, his edge, and his strength.

Then there was the triumphant moment of the kiss when Kurt finally found someone to be with, and love and build a relationship with. There wasn’t a lot of interaction between Kurt and Blaine in the episodes after the kiss, but the interactions did show them as being supportive of each other, and they were on equal footing.

Fast forward to season 3, and Kurt is clearly second fiddle to Blaine. He’s not Blaine’s equal. Blaine is superior, loved, admired, accepted, and appealing to everyone he encounters.

There were a lot of things about the First Time that bugged me that I never really verbalized. And I think it is in that episode more than any that you really see where Kurt’s place is in the relationship, and where Blaine’s is:

1. In that first bedroom scene, the conversation really bugged me. Kurt is sitting on the bed clearly turned on by watching Blaine danced around the room. And he’s the one who brings up the whole sex thing with the “are we being too cautious by not allowing our hands to go south of the border” thing. And Blaine turns that into the whole, “I want to make sure you are comfortable so I can be comfortable thing. Clearly, Kurt has an interest in discussing sex and he’s the one who brings it up, so there is a comfort thing. But it has to be clear that Blaine the heartthrob is the one who is ready, and Kurt’s the uncertain one.

2. I don’t know if this was intentional or not on the part of the writers or directors, but in the scene where they are going bar, Blaine drives the car to the bar. Kurt is the one who is the designated driver, so to me, it seems like it was probably Kurt’s car that they took to the bar. But Blaine driving just made me think of a 1950’s couple with the man driving his little lady around. To me, it was a way of putting Kurt in his place in the relationship--it was a way of visually showing Kurt as the girl in the relationship.

3. In the apology scene, when Blaine tells Kurt to “come here” it’s another way of showing Blaine is the stronger half in the couple dynamics. Blaine can’t be the one to take those final steps to reach Kurt--Kurt has to go to him.

So, the real Glee equality problem isn’t the lack of PDA in the case of Klaine, but the fact that Kurt has be take a back seat to the gay who is by script supposed to make America swoon.

(P.S. I apologize for grammar, and spelling errors and missing words on this post. I wrote it offline, and don’t have the time to proof read it so I’m sure it’s dreadfully worse than my posts usually are).

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