Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
When I saw the first cap in our tag while catching up, I decided to go and actually look for it and it turns out that she said way more than that, as you can see for yourself. Unless she deletes them, the tweets can be found here - x, x and x
Television, and it’s importance is something we’ve talked about many a time. The issue of visibility and normalization, and just how much have LGBTQ characters on television influenced the change of attitudes and rise of acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Public opinion then affects public policy. It is how we are slowly progressing to better times, where equal rights for all are becoming a matter of reality, and not just dreams. We are infinitely closer than where we were just 20 years ago and popular culture, and television, have contributed to this.
At the same time, we are still far from where we should be, and where we will be, as nothing can stop change. This young lady is a prime example of the need for visibility of LGBTQ individuals. She wasn’t born this way, she was taught to think this way.
Can a show like Glee change this type of thinking on its own? Definitely not, but it is a part of a larger whole, and it contributes to a way of socialization of younger generations, through television. It shows the viewers people like Kurt and Blaine (and Santana, Brittany, Dani, etc) and it contributes to both normalization and visibility, and ultimately affects the change of attitudes. It brings equality that much closer, and makes it less of a dream.
To achieve that, we don’t just need quantity, we need quality when it comes to LGBTQ visibility. It is both about showing and the quality of what is being shown. It is not just filming an engagement of a gay couple, but also showing that they are just like any other - they talk, they argue, they cuddle. They sing a Christmas duet together as that is their annual tradition. They interact in small and big ways, just like everyone else. It is not just a matter of a big Very Special Episode, it is about a series of small, very ordinary episodes. It is how the world of equality is built, in tiny, bit ways, that fit into a big picture, just like our lives. Yes, there will be big, very special moments, but they are few among many ordinary ones. None less important.
Now about this award, the PCAs 2014, we are all trying to get for our favourite couple, which prompted the above. It is just an award, and yet it is not. It is an opportunity for Kurt and Blaine, and for Kurt and Blaine fans. It is an opportunity to show that being gay does not equal stigma any longer; that being gay does not equal unpopular; that playing gay does not equal unpopular (in case of Darren’s nomination) and that being gay (in case of Chris’ nomination) does not equal unpopular. That a gay couple on television can and does have a passionate, large fanbase. That times are changing and that being gay isn’t something thought of by many as a sin, a taboo, or an abomination, and that what matters is pretty simple - we just love them.
It shows that they are not less than a heterosexual couple, just because they are gay. It shows that it is not “some gay couple” beating the heterosexual one. It shows that it is a very popular, much loved and accepted pairing winning over, hopefully, that other one.
We are not yet at a point where we can completely separate social relevancy and pure fannish behaviour. Klaine as a couple are immensely socially relevant, as their presence on a show like Glee is a part of that socialization through television and increased visibility and normalization. They are helping change those attitudes that will one day change policies into a complete state of equality. So we are voting for our favourites and we are voting for them to be seen. We are voting so that that presenter can say winner of Favourite On-Screen Chemistry are Kurt and Blaine from Glee. We are voting so that millions can see a gay couple being loved for who they are.
We are voting so that the networks, and showrunners, see that gay does not equal unpopular, and that in the future, both quantity and quality will be common.
This girl is just 15 years old. Fifteen years old. She is still a child, a child taught to think like this. Don’t attack her. Now let’s try and make a change. Somewhere some other fifteen year old girl will watch Glee and maybe even the People’s Choice Awards 2014 and see hopefully those guys win and what her parents are telling her may start to be questioned. And attitudes may start to change.
So one day, when she is voting for a change of public policy, towards equality, she is going to vote yes.