When I started watching Glee, at the beginning of lockdown I thought I’d be watching something a little bit cheesy and probably something I wouldn’t really invest myself in. But My auntie and cousin were watching it, so I thought it would give us something else to talk about on our video or phone calls. 5 seasons later and whilst yes it’s cheesy as hell, somewhat problematic, isn’t always PC and the real-life cast have made some questionable life decisions. I’ve noticed it’s a great microcosm for lgbtq+ culture and represents us really well.
This post may contain SPOILERS!! I’ll try my best to keep them to a minimum.
We have Kurt (played by Chris Colfer) who is the only openly gay kid in school, being bullied on a daily basis, but has a supportive father. His storyline focuses on that relationship and then develops throughout the seasons to include relationships and self acceptance.
Then we have Santana (played by Naya Rivera), a closeted lesbian who goes through the motions of coming out, and being rejected by her grandmother. She is the bitchy one of the cast but she’s easy to love and following her journey gives us perspective of what it might be like to lose someone we love because of our sexuality.
Let’s talk about Dave Karofsky (played by Max Adler). This is a heartbreaking storyline. We meet Karafsky as Kurt’s bully. It then turns out that he’s closeted. Eventually we see him transfer school, get outed, bullied himself and then attempt suicide. Luckily it didn’t work but all the same the story line was an important one to show. This story actually made me cry, it was very reminiscent of when I came out as trans (minus school and being the bully….) so I saw a lot of my own life in this storyline.
We have Brittany S. Pierce (played by Heather Morris) a bisexual character who helps Santana’s storyline. It’s actually unclear if she likes other women or just Santana but, she provides a supporting role for this storyline.
Moving onto Blaine (Kurts boyfriend played by Darren Criss) He seems to be a character that is completely out and comfortable with his sexuality in the beginning but there are mentions of bullying at a previous school. It’s not really referred to.
We have Wade “Unique” Adams (played by Alex Newall) a seemingly gender fluid character that eventually comes out as trans. I do wish this character was more front and centre throughout the seasons, but she plays a vital role in the cast, and portrays a good representation of trans life – through Hollywood eyes. (If you haven’t seen the “if I were a boy” scene – I highly recommend it – yes I cried again. Leave me alone.
We have Mr Bieste. Formerly Shannon, Sheldon Bieste is another of our trans characters portraying a more mature person finally coming to terms with their gender identity. I do think this portrayal is more on the realistic side of things (although transitioning itself seems sped up – I am unfamiliar with the US system so correct me if I’m wrong)
I think Glee actually did a really good job at showing different situations on the lgbtqia+ spectrum for it’s time and depicted some real issues that we face on a day to day basis. The only thing I wish is that more irl lgbtqia+ actors played the characters.
Let me know if you’re a Glee fan, I think I’ve been converted over the series.
Take care, stay safe.
James. aka Anothermaleblogger