Glee

There is a sweetness in the air today. Seth got up early and hung out with HT while he got ready for work. They had breakfast, while Riley and I slept.

I came downstairs to a fed, happy boy. HT had already left. Doggies wagged with glee at my appearance.

Glee.

Last night on Glee, there was a first kiss. It was between two teenage boys. Hats off to Glee for the handling of this. It has been a slow, steadily progressing relationship between the two characters on the show. Both are upstanding, honorable, and very sweet young men.

When I think about images of gay men in the mainstream media, what comes to mind is raunch. The television loves to show snippets of gay pride parades, it’s always a guy in a belly top and daisy dukes, or drag queens vamping for the camera. They tend to be dancing in the street, half-loaded. I don’t begrudge anyone their fun, but those images don’t represent most gay people.

When I was a teenager, I remember seeing a movie where a young Will Smith kissed another man. I was very uncomfortable. I think my hands actually flew up to cover my eyes. I’d never seen anything like it. I’d lived in a small town my whole life. I didn’t personally know any gay people (actually I did, but I didn’t know it about them yet).

It took going to college, where my RA had a gay uncle and gave all of us a good education on how hurtful throwing words like “queer” around was,ย and after that, living in a major city hugely affected by HIV. I met a person who would become a dear friend, whose family was forever changed by one of them having to hide his bi-sexuality. I volunteered with children affected by HIV.

The AIDS quilt covering the entire National Mall in DC literally brought me to my knees. Panel after panel, after panel, after panel… put together by people who loved someone who had died. Sons. Husbands. Friends. Daughters. Lovers. Little peoples’ daddies. I was not prepared for seeing that quilt. Faceless silent volunteers handed me tissue after tissue. No words between us were necessary. No words would suffice.

Gay rights are human rights, civil rights. At this point my knee jerk reaction to homophobia is the same as it is to racism. I have no tolerance for it. But I do remember what it was like to be uncomfortable in that movie theater so long ago. Ignorance is ignorance. You don’t know what you don’t know. But the world is changing.

My kids love Glee. We TIVO it, and screen to see if it is okay for them to watch. Often it is too sexually explicit, so they only get to watch bits and pieces. They have all the CD’s. They have mad crushes on some of the characters. They talk of Glee all the time.

Riley is not awake yet, but when she comes downstairs she’ll be greeted by me and her brother and two dogs happy to see her. She’ll lean down and nuzzle Jingle and then look up at me. I guarantee, the first question she’ll ask is, “Can we watch Glee? Was it appropriate?”

I’ll smile at her and say, “Yes, baby. It was.”

15 thoughts on “Glee

  1. spectacular….. spectacular piece…. spectacular thoughts…… so much said in such a small amount of words….have a wonderful day Michelle…

  2. Thank you so much Michelle. Your piece brought tears to MY eyes. Your children will grow up to be the kind of adults that make me feel more comfortable in my skin. The kind of adults that you and HT are. Thank you for passing those values to the next generation.
    Blessings to you, Kat

  3. As a mother of a gay son, I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me that you are raising awareness. That is the key to fighting stigma and prejudice. I remember when we told my step son that Kyle was gay, he assumed Kyle would begin to dress in drag. My step son’s only (known) exposure to a gay person was through the media. We literally had to set him down and explain that just like heterosexuals, homosexuals do not all have the same sense of fashion and we will support Kyle in whatever means he chooses to express himself.

  4. Lovely. All of it – the morning with Seth and HT, your compassionate words, and the anticipation Riley will have to watch it with you. I’m with you – human rights are human rights. Gay, straight, black, latino, female, male, kid, adult, Democrat or Republican, we are all human and we all deserve to be treated as such. Period.

  5. I could not have been more impressed with how that kiss was presented. I absolutly loved how they used the judges on the show to criticize what happened and how they sounded so ridiculous with their argument against it. It was brilliant because the show was saying, “We know what people might say, but we support what we did.” I cheered for my gay friends and asked my 62 year old Kentucky raised husband, “Did you ever think there would be a time in your life when you would witness this on prime time?” He said no, but with me, went to bed with a smile knowing the world is an awesome place and getting better!

  6. Hey Michelle… how about teaching them that some people are asexual at some point, too? People are clueless about that, big time. My therapist tells me that about 1 in 100 people are in fact asexual. I am one of them.

  7. Wish more people were as open as you are. The world would be better. I count on at least two more, thanks to you.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Michelle thanks for this post. I cried at your description of your reaction to the AIDS quilt and yet even more tears at you telling Riley it was appropriate. I think we have a tit for tat going here…me crying at your blog postings and you crying at my music in church! Lets keep it up!

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