There are two things I believe a television show can do to be good for gay youth. Glee succeeds in one and fails miserably in the other. These two things are: being able to show kids that it’s ok to be gay, the other (which is often overlooked) is showing all kids that you don’t have to be a stereotype to be gay. Gay people come in all shapes and sizes. I think most people can guess which one Glee succeeds at, and where it fails.
My main issue with the show lies in the character of Kurt. He simply is not a good example of what gay people are actually like. He is an overblown, almost cartoonish stereotype. This is bad because it does nothing to convince the bullies that gay people are just normal human beings like anyone else. Most people don’t consider this, but changing the bullies’ minds about gay people is just as important as boosting the confidence of the gay kids themselves. If you change the bullies’ minds, it becomes almost unnecessary to boost the confidence of gay kids because they are not being tortured every day at school.
Furthermore Kurt is portrayed as someone who is really weak. He breaks down and cries in what seems like every other episode. I think that gay kids all over the country need a strong confident role model, and Kurt just doesn’t seem to be it. I will admit that the introduction of the character Blaine helped; he isn’t a stereotype and he is a pretty strong character. If Blaine was the main gay character on Glee, I would be extremely happy with the show. He is a strong confident role model, whereas Kurt is not.
A show that I think is much better for the gay community is Modern Family. I think it portrays a side of the gay community that needs to be depicted. Cameron and Mitchell are in a monogamous relationship, raising a child in a stable and loving home. And while they may be slight stereotypes themselves, they are showing in a way that’s never been shown on television before that gay people are just like anyone else. They fall in love and have children just like straight people. I think that this is the most important lesson we should be aiming at the youth of the country. Gay people are just like you and me, all they’re looking for is happiness.
I believe that Glee has the potential to be good for the gay community. All it needs is to become more like Modern Family in the way it portrays gay people. Gays need to be seen as strong independent people. Because that’s what we want to inspire gay kids all over the country to be. The character of Kurt is weak and fragile, and that’s the opposite of what we want to be inspiring gay youth to be.