Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality’

What do NPH and Beyoncé have in common?

January 16, 2013

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if people are homophobic, purposely inflammatory, or just actually dumb. Legit dumb.

Conservative website WND reported last week that Neil Patrick Harris, according to some, must be mocking Christians and pushing his gay agenda by mimicking Tim Tebow’s signature eyeblack in promotional photos for the Super Bowl:

I wonder what agenda Beyoncé was pushing when she did a similar advertisement months ago?:

If you want to create inflammatory news stories to push your own agenda, maybe try to make them a little more logically consistent? This is just plain lazy. And of course, WND made no news of Beyoncé’s ad. 

Wait… or maybe… everyone’s mad because NPH isn’t making a kissy face, aren’t they?

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‘Glee’ misadvises about needing a bf/gf to be happy

November 18, 2010

— Glee spoilers below. You’ve been warned! —

Glee is known for “tackling” problems that teens face every day — bullying, body issues, etc. — but it often misses the mark. That is exactly what happened this week on Glee, when Kurt kept ditching Mercedes to hang out Blaine, his only gay friend and a member of a rival Glee Club. Instead of both addressing that Kurt is a crappy friend for ditching her and/or further explaining what Blaine offers as a friend that Mercedes can’t, the conclusion is that Mercedes is eating her feelings and needs a man to be complete. Uh … what??

So the background of the storyline is this: Kurt meets Blaine, and they hit it off. Kurt is the only openly gay student at his school, and he is bullied because of it everyday. Blaine is someone that Kurt can identify with at a different level than anyone else at his high school because Blaine also was bullied for being gay, plus Kurt and Blaine get along and share a lot of common interests. Blaine is someone Kurt feels totally comfortable around, so it makes sense that he enjoys spending time with him.

But this new friendship actually started to interfere with his friendship with Mercedes — I think at first Mercedes just wanted to hang out with Kurt and he already had plans, but he actually started breaking plans with Mercedes in order to hang out with Blaine. Glee could’ve addressed how this can turn into a shady habit, and how in real life, relationships in which partners completely ditch their plans with friends at the whim of the significant other are unhealthy — but I give this a pass because Kurt only did this one time, and he eventually invited Mercedes to hang out with them (though she ended up feeling like a third wheel).

And then, to get Mercedes off his back, he tries to hook her up with another guy — eventually telling her that she has been using him (Kurt) as a stand-in boyfriend and then replacing Kurt with food, when really she needs to put herself out there. This could have been a moment where he tells Mercedes that she shouldn’t define herself with food or with men, but instead he tells her that she needs to define herself with a man.

Glee completely missed an opportunity to promote finding happiness within yourself and instead promoted relying on a significant other to find that happiness. If your own happiness is always in the hands of someone or something else, then you will cling to unhealthy relationships or habits because you’ve given them control of your emotions — it becomes not about being in a healthy relationship, but simply about not being alone. Of course a significant other can bring you happiness, as could eating unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks at Olive Garden, but those things shouldn’t be the foundation of your identity and who you are as a person.

Also, this isn’t the first time this season that Glee has completely gone askew when it comes to dealing with problems that teenagers face. In the Rocky Horror episode, male body issues were discussed, and the explanation Artie gives for those problems was related to Internet porn — yeah, no. Perhaps it was for comedic effect, but that entire episode brought Glee‘s mismanagement of these problems to the forefront. For a TV show that on the surface is cutting edge and different, its resolutions to many of these problems are pretty typical and lame.

Glee: The fine line between being a guy and talking “guy”

April 28, 2010

What’s a blogger to do when 16 and Pregnant is over for this season? Discuss Glee, of course. And not discussion of its songs or dance numbers, but the topics it sheds light on. Last night, the topic that most struck me was the relationship between Kurt and his father.

Kurt — the only openly gay main character on the show — often has funny one-liners or is drooling over Finn, but last night we got to see the struggle that is likely common in a lot of households: the struggle between parent and child to form a connection or bond; in this case, the struggle between a straight, masculine father and his gay, feminine son.

The dichotomy has been addressed on the show before, as his father was more proud of him than ever when Kurt was a kicker on the football team. But on last night’s episode of Glee, the tone was more serious, as Kurt tried to get his dad and Finn’s mom — both who were widowed — to start dating in order to get closer to Finn. The plan backfired, however, as Kurt’s dad took an interest in Finn that he had never showed in Kurt before.

Kurt’s dad and Finn were able to talk sports, which hurt Kurt because he has never been able to have that kind of relationship with his father. What really stood out was when Kurt’s dad commented that he knew it had offended Kurt, and he said that it was “just guy talk” and Kurt replied, “I’m a guy.”

The line is powerful — Kurt’s father assumes there is this understanding between himself and his son that involve “guy things” — e.g. sports — and “non-guy” things — like singing and dancing. This is interesting (1) because Finn is also in Glee Club and therefore is also interested in a “nonguy” thing and (2) Kurt’s father is admitting that he doesn’t view his son as a true “guy.” It’s not that whatever guys talk about is consequently “guy talk,” it’s that there is a predetermined set of topics that are socially deemed masculine.

I was glad to see this topic discussed because Kurt’s homosexuality is often thrown into the shows in a comedic light — but for Kurt and likely many gay men, there is nothing funny about not being able to form a bond or connection with your father. And for Kurt, whose mother died eight years ago, his dad is his only parent. Though his dad has shown support by coming to his musical events, Kurt yearns for that true interest and father-son bond that comes out of interest rather than obligation.

And though Finn also sings and dances, his masculinity is confirmed by his interest in sports. He is still a true “guy” in this regard — what about the guys, of any sexuality, who aren’t interested in those typical “guy” things? They often have to constantly overcompensate or prove their own masculinity to fit in with “the guys.”

This episode shows the difference between sex and gender — biologically, Kurt is a man (we assume he isn’t transgender or intersex). But socially, he is not considered a man — his gender is not entirely male because he doesn’t take interest in the things that society deems “masculine,” such as sports.  

At the end of the episode, Kurt thanks Mercedes for singing “Beautiful,” which is an acknowledgment that Kurt has been feeling ugly for not meeting up to the expectations of a true “guy.” He obviously yearns for his father’s acceptance, and it’s tough to watch his dad so easily and eagerly accept Finn while Kurt has been trying his entire life to become close with his father and gain his acceptance.

Sorry Miss. parents, prom isn’t as wholesome as you think

April 7, 2010

It’s hard to believe that high school parents would go to the trouble of creating a decoy prom so that a lesbian couple wouldn’t attend, but that’s exactly what happened in the Itawamba County School District in Mississippi. If you haven’t heard of the student — Constance McMillan — whose school first refused to let her bring a female date and then canceled prom entirely when the ACLU got involved, then you’re probably still a bit more idealistic than anyone who has heard the story.

What is hard to grasp is what exactly is so bad about Constance bringing her date — is it because they might dance together? Because lots of girls dance together in groups — even grind on each other — and not everyone who goes to prom (even if they are heterosexual) wants to go with or is able to get a date for the dance. Is it because they might kiss?

Because I’m sure she would have brought her date, started grinding on her ferociously, and then topped it all off by making out with her on the dance floor all night long — because it sounds like Constance really wanted to go to prom to make everyone uncomfortable and pissed off, and not because she wanted to be like everyone else and go to prom with someone she cared about. End sarcasm. She goes to a school in the deep south — it’s likely more about not hiding who she is than trying to attract the abuse that comes with being openly gay in a conservative area.

Of course it’s the family values’ focused parents (along with their kids who probably haven’t been taught tolerance) who are likely worried that the girls are going to be kissing on the dance floor, grinding on each other and stomping on the wholesome prom that they want their kids to have.

The idea of a wholesome prom is almost an oxymoron, at least if you attend public school — prom night is stereotyped as the night when teens lose their virginity, not as the night when they slow dance a good distance apart from each other. Although by this age, many teenagers have already lost their virginity, so then it’s a night to not only have (non-marital!) sex, but to get drunk afterward and then have sex. My prom date joked to me, “You know, you’re supposed to get some on prom night.” I responded with a disgruntled look and let him know he wouldn’t be.

Other wholesome things found at my prom? Lots of people were intoxicated (alcohol and/or drugs) before they stepped into the doorway, and I’m sure some smuggled alcohol and/or drugs into the event itself. Lots of the girls there wore ridiculously revealing clothing, to the point where I was surprised a few nip slips didn’t take place on the dance floor.

And, of course, a gathering of teenagers and hormones always leads to grinding on the dance floor, no matter how much the chaperones try to stop it. And my high school was in a typical white suburb in the Midwest, so it doesn’t get more “average” than that.

Perhaps the problem is that these parents don’t seem to realize that their own kids most likely drink, have sex (or do other sexual acts short of intercourse) and do it all right under their noses. They are too busy being “holier than thou” about their heterosexuality that they fail to realize that those wholesome kids of theirs are probably out breaking curfew, morals, laws, or commandments.

And for the parents to go to the trouble of creating a private prom, purposefully trying to leave out Constance? What a way to teach your kids about tolerance. The students are just as guilty though, as keeping their lips sealed means they are just as intolerant, plus I’m sure the added peer pressure didn’t help.

This segregation is ridiculous — would this town have had the audacity to hold a secret prom if there was one black student who wanted to attend and they wanted it to be a white-only affair? Probably not (although this is Mississippi …), but that’s because homosexuality isn’t the same as skin color.

Skin color is a physical characteristic, and sexuality is not — it’s not they don’t like Constance, they just don’t like her sexuality — they wanted her to hide it and then they’d let her go to prom. For some reason, to these people, that probably didn’t sound as ridiculous as it would sound to ask a person of color to paint their skin to put the parents’ nervousness at ease.