YSERBA

writings, ramblings, songs, whatever...

Kevin Army

Kevin Army
Location
Oakland, California, United States
Birthday
August 19
Title
Executor
Company
Yserba
Bio
Formerly posing as Yserba Berrington, now just posing as myself. In a former life I worked on music creatively for a living. Now I'm a hardworking slacker and occasional writer for no money at all, and I like it that way. I post fiction, ramblings, songs, photos, videos, whatever I feel moved to do. I'm kind of directionless. Welcome!

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OCTOBER 6, 2010 12:00PM

The Awesome Subversiveness of Glee

Rate: 15 Flag

 

Glee makes me cry. Not because it's so great or moving, and not that it isn't. It's Kurt. Or, more to the point, the complexity and truthfulness of Kurt as a gay teen, the reaction around him, and the subtle ways the show teaches it's world how to react to him.

I realized tonight, not only did I have no role models like Kurt to watch when I was young, neither did the rest of the world. One of my favorite episodes was when Finn, the football quarterback, had to move in to Kurt's house. Kurt had engineered fixing their parents up so this would happen. The show didn't flinch from the idea that Kurt would get a crush on Finn. Finn reacted homophobically, and then, the show taught how he should react. I was a sobbing mess during that one.

Kurt is unapologetically gay, even more so perhaps than Adam Lambert. But unlike gay boys and men before him in the mainstream media, he isn't unthreatening or asexual. He's a real teenager with real teen feelings. Do you realize how huge this is?

The awesome subversiveness of Glee, is it looks like a clean cut suburban Disney show. It's drawn America in, and it's showing it how to be a better place. How would I have ended up if I'd had Glee to watch when I was a kid? That's why I cry. It's tears for what I didn't have, and tears of joy, knowing somewhere out there, there's a young man or woman who needs this show. And there's so many straight people who need to see accepting gay people modeled for them. It's not easy for Kurt. People need to know that.

I'm not a Modern Family fan. I am tired of stereotyped gay men who are buffoons. Maybe they get to be kind of loving, but for Christ's sake, I want to see grown up gay men who are as attractive and grounded as the lead guy on that show. Maybe I haven't watched it enough. Will and Grace did nothing for me. It perpetuated the stereotype that gay men are either asexual or sluts.

Kurt is just real. He transcends stereotype. There are gay kids like him. I know, I was one until it was literally ridiculed and beaten out of me by my classmates. I learned to hide the Kurt in me and act straight. The flaming gay boy I was is buried deep inside. He comes out once in a while, but not often enough. I mourn for that loss of who I was born to be.

Tonight's episode focused on Kurts dad going into a coma, and the spiritual questions and dilemmas those kind of events bring up. Finn see's Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich and prays to it. Kurt has no faith, but learns to accept others love and faith. It pushes that subversive envelope in a special way to face gay issues and spiritual issues in the same hour. When an elderly woman takes Kurt's hand in church, I can't help but think it's a lesson directed at modern American spiritual organizations: Gay people are hurting, and the Christian thing to do is to offer a helping hand. Even Sue get's to have a little journey about God, and gives one of her finest performances through that. Go Jane Lynch!

This week, there's been a lot of media attention to young gay men committing suicide. I've been shut down to it all week. I haven't let myself feel. Glee kind of opened the floodgates tonight. I still don't know how I survived, I guess a part of me should be thankful for denial. Mostly music is what got me through.

But I really wish I'd had Glee to watch back then.

Kevin Army

Yserba's ghostwriter

 

 

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kevin.......... I am so glad yserba let you write..:)
I missed it last night because we went to see Guided by Voices..
It was an okay show. The guitar player reminded me of you in one of your bands..:)
Rated with hugs and I will see this on on Saturday night.. You are so right..
HUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
Let Yserba let you out again..:)
I grew up with a gay brother, and while he didn't officially come out until a few years ago, we pretty much knew. I still don't always know what to say, but I try to let him know I love him, no matter what.
I like Kurt on Glee, because I think there are more people coming out at a younger age. And while I know it's fiction, there are plenty of real-life situations on there that have teaching moments.
(My dad died of a heart attack, so last night's episode made me bawl. My husband just held me. It was so good.)
Good post Kevin.. Glad to see that Yserba let you out..:)
As Linda said, you missed a great concert last night.
Have you ever watched Brothers and Sisters on Sunday nights? There is a gay couple on that show who are not buffoons in any way. They deal with all the same issues that other married couples encounter. You might like it.

Lezlie
Good post, Kevin! Thanks for sharing!
I avoided watching Glee because I felt after my love affair with Buffy, I was too old for another high school romance and at my age loving a show set in high school feels a little creepy. But I happened to watch last night's episode and was left sobbing like a baby. It's a great show and you're right about Kurt. He is a great character as our the others.
Hey all- Thank you for your comments. They mean a lot. Linda & Rugrat- You 2 are awesome!
NSisifo- I know what you mean about not always knowing what to say, but it sounds like you know exactly what to say to your brother. I've lost both of my parents, and the hospital stuff was getting to me too.
Lezlie- I'll be sure to check out Brothers & Sisters.
Fred- Thanks!
Marion- I'm glad to know I wasn't the only person sobbing last night!
Kevin
Kevin, at noon I called Steve and told him that I bet when I got homr from the city that you would have an EP.
I just got home and saw it and cried.
Thank you for writing this.. You are my heroe.
Linda
Kevin, Linda drew me to your blog. I'm Steve's mom. You're my kind on writer...like her, you write what you know and you say how you feel. I'm one old fart and I can tell you that in my lifetime, it has gotten so better. There are more milestones ahead - DADT, equal marriage rights - and both will happen in my lifetime...(I'm not THAT old ;-) I don't normally watch Glee but I will take a second look...Modern Family is my 'must see'.
mshearer- It's so good to meet you! Steve and Linda are 2 of the best people I've ever met, I'm sure you are awesome too! Thanks for the kind comments, and yes, things have come a long way. They still have a way to go, but I'm grateful it's getting better for future generations.
Linda- thank you so much!!!!
Kurt is my favorite character on TV right now. Incredible. I saw the actor in an interview - might have been with Ellen - and she asked where he went to high school, and if he had been bullied. He said he had. She asked if she'd ever gone back to that school. And he basically said, nope, if they wanted me backed they shouldn't have treated me that way. A very confident, smart kid. And like his character, totally unapologetic.
Kurt is indeed the beating heart of "Glee." I had a chance to chat with Jane Lynch recently at Outfest Los Angeles and she confirmed for me what I have suspected -- Kurt's saving lives. Gay kids -- bullied at school, unsupported by parents -- can still tun on the tube and see someone just like them.

Moreover he's PLAYED by someone just like tham as Chris Colfer is gay. The fact that he's out and proud in real life is an additonal encouragement.

The episode where he did "Rose's Turn" was sheer unadulterated Gay Heaven.
You can find the "Grilled Cheesus" episode -- and others, here:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/181761/glee-grilled-cheesus#s-p1-so-i0
Cruzy and David- You both got me to read a little about Chris Colfer, it looks like he's a great role model in real life too. David, thanks for adding the link to the show.
From and Owl- Thanks!!
aw Kevin---your post made me have tears too........I can not pay attn to the media now of the lost kids.................it is too paiinful.

When will people realize ...........
Diana
Perfect. Thank you. Awesome.
Diana- I know what you mean. Sometimes it hurts too much.
Love Heals- Thanks!