ALT-BRITTANA-PR: Though it’s been several days more than the 5-day gap between the posting of the Finchel and Klaine relationship scrapbook cards, GleeonFOX has not, as yet, posted one promoting Brittana’s journey. This is what we think a Glee on FOX scrapbook card for Santana and Brittany could have looked like.

Ryan Murphy, in a 2nd January 2013 NPR broadcast, said “If you’re going to show a straight couple kiss, show a gay couple kiss. So that they feel like, okay, there’s hope for me, there’s a way for me. I’m worthy of that happiness.”

HELP GLEE ON FOX GET THAT MEMO BY TWEETING:

  • @gleeonfox
  • @20thcenturyfox
  • @foxbroadcasting

ALT-KLAINE-PR. This is what we think the Glee on FOX scrapbook card for Kurt and Blaine could have looked like.

Ryan Murphy, in a 2nd January 2013 NPR broadcast, said “If you’re going to show a straight couple kiss, show a gay couple kiss. So that they feel like, okay, there’s hope for me, there’s a way for me. I’m worthy of that happiness.”

HELP GLEE ON FOX GET THAT MEMO BY TWEETING:

  • @gleeonfox
  • @20thcenturyfox
  • @foxbroadcasting

The Glee Double Standard

hall-and-totes:

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The above charts (along with the one I posted last week) are more evidence of Glee’s obvious double standards when it comes to the writing of female/female romantic relationships. The data was collected from seasons two, three, and four of Glee.

 

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*hall-and-totes isn’t affiliated with the GEP

Equality Report 410 “Glee, Actually”

  • It was upsetting seeing Kurt once again bullied for his sexuality, even if only in Artie’s fever dream.

  • We thought that this would be the episode where we would hear a good deal more about Kurt’s point of view regarding his relationship with Blaine. But the promised “heart to heart” has yet to take place. Despite that, Blaine comes to NY to see Kurt, at Burt’s invitation. Kurt as a character needs to have more agency in his life, and to be able to express himself.
  • Santana continues to be erased from the narrative while her bisexual ex is allowed to date and even marry (at least in intent) a male – something Santana and Brittany would not be able to do. Brittany seems to have forgotten she even ever dated, let alone loved Santana – even when she thought she only had four days to live she did not mention Santana once.

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Equality Report 409 “Swan Song”

  • Kurt was shown as a strong and triumphant young man, and his plot in this episode showed no hints of the effeminophobia that has clouded his portrayal in the past.

  • Unique is back, but makes the point that her reason for joining the floor hockey team is to ‘slip a wig under the face mask [so] nobody will be the wiser,’ allowing her to be herself while simultaneously hiding from the world.

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Reaction Post 409 “Swan Song”

In this episode, Brittany reminds us that “love is love,” but is that what they show us? We are very disappointed with the double standards displayed on Glee in its depiction of same sex versus opposite sex romantic relationships. The Brittany/Sam storyline makes these double standards abundantly clear.

A quick reassurance: we are NOT saying that Brittany should stay single or only date girls. This is not a shipping campaign, and Brittany is bisexual. We encourage all Glee fans to not be guilty of bisexual erasure in their commentary on this issue.

However, there are some clear examples of Glee’s double standards in the way this relationship has been portrayed. Brittany and Sam sing a duet together, share private conversations, and kiss in this episode, the same episode in which they first showed romantic interest in each other. These are all things that Brittany/Santana fans had to actually fight for, for months, to see on screen with the two girls. It took Santana and Brittany 10 episodes to kiss after becoming official (and that’s not even counting Seasons 1 and 2, when they were having sex with each other but not “official”). Brittany and Sam? 1 episode. Brittany and Artie back in Season 2? 1 episode. The contrast for Santana and Brittany is stark. Santana and Brittany didn’t even have one single private conversation in Season 3, when they were in a happy and stable relationship. Their only private conversations in Season 4 thus far served their breakup. This is unequal treatment, and a double standard.

We also note that Brittany is allowed to explore a new relationship with a guy but there is no evidence of Santana doing likewise with a girl. We have barely seen Santana this season, and there has been minimal focus on her romantic life. There are no indications so far that this will change in the immediate future. Glee seems happy to show a new heteronormative relationship but not a new lesbian relationship? This is an example of lesbian erasure.

Finally, Glee has provoked fans deliberately with the meta statement in this episode about "lesbians of the nation…for whom it means a lot to see two super hot popular girls in love" in this episode. Given Ryan’s previous negative interactions with Brittana fans on Twitter, this is, at best, insensitive and, at worst, malicious in their dismissal of fans’ concerns

Love is love, but that’s not what we have just witnessed on Glee.

Please look out for our Glee Equality Report on Monday and, in the meantime, we encourage you to let FOX know of any concerns you may have.

DO YOU WANT GLEE TO DO BETTER? WRITE FOX:

Kevin Reilly
FOX Broadcasting Company
10201 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

We always encourage you to write FOX as that has more impact than email, but if you send a copy of your letter to askfox@fox.com your voice will be heard right away. Be sure to include a one-sentence summary of your email (or letter) at the top to ensure your key message gets through even if it gets only the briefest skimming, e.g. GLEE: unhappy, Brittany/Sam pairing, heterosexual versus lesbian relationship double-standards

Equality Report 408 “Thanksgiving”

  • Kurt and Blaine have a conversation about their relationship and its future. Kurt finally has the opportunity to share his feelings, and they are honest and believably conflicted.
  • In “Let’s Have a Kiki,” Kurt initiates physical contact with a straight guy, confidently leading Brody into the dance. After being branded toxic and experiencing rampant effeminophobia at McKinley High School, we see Kurt flourishing in a more accepting environment. Achievement!
  • Wade was grouped with all the girls during the pre-Sectionals talk by the “Unholy Trinity” of Brittany, Santana and Quinn, even though he was Wade and not Unique in the scene, and no issue was made about Wade’s presence there.
  • Unique returns as herself for Sectionals, and makes a powerful statement about her identity and self-worth.

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Equality Report 407 “Dynamic Duets”

A significant number of the LGBT characters were absent from this episode, and only one LGBT relationship (Kurt and Blaine) was featured. Therefore, this report is briefer than usual.

  • The flashback to Blaine’s encounter with Eli C shows him as a sexually active gay teen, just as a flashback to a straight character’s indiscretion may be expected in similar circumstances.
  • Sam responds with kindness and sound advice to Blaine’s telling him about hooking up with another male while in a committed relationship. It’s the same reaction Sam might have in a similar situation involving a straight friend.

  • Hunter made the point quite clearly to Blaine that he isn’t “even remotely bi-curious”. While the comparison to Sebastian as the former captain of the Warblers could make this point relevant, we question why it was necessary to be made.

  • Kurt’s continued absence from the story of his break-up with Blaine is disheartening when compared to other current and past break-ups on the show where the audience has been allowed to see events from both characters’ sides of the relationship.

Watching Brief:

  • We will be watching to see if Kurt will get to say more about how he is feeling about Blaine and his relationship with him. We want him to have a voice in a story that is half his. It’s also a surprise that none of the characters at McKinley or who have returned to McKinley who were previously close to Kurt have voiced support for Kurt and how he might feel.
  • We are curious to see if Unique will return as herself or as Wade at Sectionals, or if the objections hers parents had for “Grease” still apply.
  • Sebastian Smythe made an appearance in this episode, but in contrast to how he was characterized last season, no reference was made to his sexuality and he made no attempt to flirt with Blaine. We wonder if the fact that Sebastian is gay will return as a plot point in future episodes.

Do you want Glee to do better? Write FOX:

Kevin Reilly
FOX Broadcasting Company
10201 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Equality Report 406 “Glease”

  • With all four individuals from the two recently-broken up LGBTQ couples in Lima, each ex-couple interacted and spoke about their relationships.
  • The audience saw Kurt’s pain and anger in the aftermath of his break-up with Blaine in this episode. He was allowed to express his feelings and make decisions for himself.
  • Kurt and Blaine spoke about their relationship briefly, but alone in an almost empty corridor
  • Brittany and Santana had an honest conversation about the romantic feelings that they still share for each other. But in that conversation, Brittany stated that she is not dating anybody new, boy or girl. This acknowledges that either would be possible for her.
  • Brittany was included in a girls’ slumber party without any question or awkwardness about her sexuality.
  • When Kitty tried to resist the idea of Unique joining the girls’ slumber party, Marley spoke up in Unique’s defence.

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Equality Report 405 “The Role You Were Born to Play”

WADE/UNIQUE:

  • This episode is as much about how the other characters react to Wade/Unique and her gender identity as it is about her feelings. Those reactions are all over the spectrum, and are portrayed realistically and effectively. Wade thinks of herself as a girl and has no internal conflict on that score, but is keenly aware that conflict arises from external sources, in that the outside world needs to catch up and adjust to this presentation.
  • The scene in Figgins’ office is a pretty fair summation of the issues, complete with ambiguous and fluid gender identifiers:
    • Figgins has seen Wade/Unique dressed as a female and takes her gender at face value. He doesn’t seem to have made the connection to Wade, so has no problem in accepting what he ‘sees’ as fact.
    • Sue knows that Wade/Unique is biologically male and, therefore, discounts any possibility of Unique being female. For Sue, the knowledge of Wade/Unique’s physical gender impedes her ability to accept Wade/Unique’s presentation as anything other than drag. The clothes do not maketh the man (or woman) in this case.
    • Will is open-minded. He sees both Wade and Unique and deals with each on a personal level, treating Wade as male and Unique as female. But he hasn’t quite got past the gender knowledge when discussing Wade and Unique with others (hence using ‘he’ when speaking of Unique in the scene).
    • Finn is totally accepting of Wade/Unique’s gender identification and doesn’t need the added visual stimulus of clothing to make the mental leap. Finn sees both Wade and Unique as female (as indeed they are), while still understanding that others are going to judge her based on outside identifiers like clothing. Finn gets a ‘Thumbs Up’ for his non-preachy acceptance here. He gives her the role of Rizzo and sticks up for her against Sue.

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Season SitRep: Episodes 1 - 4

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING FOR & HOPING FOR WHEN GLEE RETURNS

Four episodes of Glee have aired thus far, and the five week hiatus comes to an end in the U.S. on Thursday, November 8th. There have been big changes for all of the LGBTQ characters. We’re curious to see where their new journeys will take them.

Reminder: We are a spoiler-free zone, so this post is safe for spoiler-phobes

THE COUPLES


We ended last season with many couples intact, and within the first four episodes of this season, it seems they have all broken up (with the exception of Will and Emma). Some of the couples (both LGBTQ and straight) may never come back together, while others could reunite in the future. Individual characters might move on to new relationships and stay in them or break up again to go back to their former partners. Whatever the pairings, familiar or new, we hope to see communication, affection and intimacy portrayed for any LGBTQ couples in the same manner as their straight counterparts.

We do NOT want a repeat of the double standards that plagued Season 3. We hope to see important personal conversations take place in private. We hope to see the couples not needing chaperones.

On balance, so far, Glee seems to have made an effort not to shy away from displays of affection among the LGBTQ couples in Season 4, the glaring exception being Kurt and Blaine getting neither a kiss goodbye nor a private goodbye scene in 401. The lack of a private scene about their break up in 404 also falls into this category. We will be watching how the show progresses from here with interest.

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All is not right at The Glee Project’s Facebook…
After the offensive inclusion of Santana in a poll on The Glee Project’s Facebook page, discussed in our post here, The Glee Project Facebook surpassed itself with the response to a concerned fan screen capped above. We have responded with this comment on their page: 
This is an unconscionable response by The Glee Project Facebook to the sincere and warranted objections of Glee fans to this offensive poll. Santana is an out lesbian who dated boys before she was forced out of the closet involuntarily. She dated boys when she was struggling to come to terms with her identity and trying to conform to expectations. She even had a beard in the form of a closeted gay man. Since then, she has come to terms with her sexual orientation. She is no longer struggling or in the closet. She has declared herself to be a lesbian. She proudly took her girlfriend to the prom and ran for prom court with her. She has had an “energy exchange” with another young woman. She has made it perfectly clear that she’s a lesbian, doesn’t enjoy sex with men, and is not going back for more of what never worked for her in the first place. She is not a viable dating option for Ryder Lynn. 
Coming out is a process that is hard and yet frees a person to reflect their true being to the world. For the Facebook of The Glee Project to negate this difficult and brave portrayal of the step that many LGBTQ men and women take in real life, and in the week of National Coming Out Day, is truly disgusting. How can The Glee Project, a program linked to Glee which is supposed to celebrate the lives of people of all orientations, feel that this is a proper response to fans calling them on the misguided inclusion of Santana in this poll’s choices? It isn’t. This poll has, in effect, asked fans to vote either for a story line where Santana goes back into the closet to date men or one where lesbianism is shown, incorrectly and damagingly, as a phase and something that women can ‘get over’ with the help of the ‘right man’. The Glee Project Facebook should apologise to all the fans they have hurt and offended by this utter disregard of Santana’s sexuality.

We urge all GEP supporters to make their voices heard on The Glee Project’s Facebook page.

All is not right at The Glee Project’s Facebook…

After the offensive inclusion of Santana in a poll on The Glee Project’s Facebook page, discussed in our post here, The Glee Project Facebook surpassed itself with the response to a concerned fan screen capped above. We have responded with this comment on their page: 

This is an unconscionable response by The Glee Project Facebook to the sincere and warranted objections of Glee fans to this offensive poll. Santana is an out lesbian who dated boys before she was forced out of the closet involuntarily. She dated boys when she was struggling to come to terms with her identity and trying to conform to expectations. She even had a beard in the form of a closeted gay man. Since then, she has come to terms with her sexual orientation. She is no longer struggling or in the closet. She has declared herself to be a lesbian. She proudly took her girlfriend to the prom and ran for prom court with her. She has had an “energy exchange” with another young woman. She has made it perfectly clear that she’s a lesbian, doesn’t enjoy sex with men, and is not going back for more of what never worked for her in the first place. She is not a viable dating option for Ryder Lynn. 

Coming out is a process that is hard and yet frees a person to reflect their true being to the world. For the Facebook of The Glee Project to negate this difficult and brave portrayal of the step that many LGBTQ men and women take in real life, and in the week of National Coming Out Day, is truly disgusting. How can The Glee Project, a program linked to Glee which is supposed to celebrate the lives of people of all orientations, feel that this is a proper response to fans calling them on the misguided inclusion of Santana in this poll’s choices? It isn’t. This poll has, in effect, asked fans to vote either for a story line where Santana goes back into the closet to date men or one where lesbianism is shown, incorrectly and damagingly, as a phase and something that women can ‘get over’ with the help of the ‘right man’. The Glee Project Facebook should apologise to all the fans they have hurt and offended by this utter disregard of Santana’s sexuality.

We urge all GEP supporters to make their voices heard on The Glee Project’s Facebook page.