Gay Teens are the cover story of Entertainment Weekly

Attention Gleeks! (and non-Gleeks),

Looks like this week's Entertainment Weekly is worth a gander. Here is how the EW staff describes the cover story:

Gay teens are suddenly popping up in major roles all over television, with Glee’s popular pairing of Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss) leading the way. How did gay teens go from marginalized outcasts and goofy sidekicks to some of the highest profile — and most beloved — characters on the likes of 90210, Pretty Little Liars, and Skins? And more importantly, how is this affecting real-life teens still facing the daily high-school realities of bullying, discrimination, and ignorance? The new issue of Entertainment Weekly investigates the history of gay teens on TV — from the angsty Rickie on My So-Called Life to sensitive-soul Jack on Dawson’s Creek to the slew of groundbreaking characters on Degrassi. We talk to the producers who fought for such progress, the actors who held the career-defining roles, and the activists who cheer recent advances — but are still pushing for more.

Check it out, and report back with your thoughts!


whateversexual_llama's picture

I haven't read the article yet

but I got into a really interesting conversation on facebook about the fact that the article exists and wanted to see what you guys would say to my friend, who said this (to my claim that culture will follow the mainstream media):

"I see that, but I also see the stereotypes coming in, which... it may get better in the media for a while, but look at race in the media or gender. It will (has) become a "thing" to have gay youth on television shows. Glee, I think, is different because of who is involved with the show, but other shows are going to begin to have gay characters not because they care about the movement for equality and awareness, but because it is in fashion. And the harms of that are as of yet, unknown. I think... tread cautiously. In a way, it's objectification, not subjectification.

I agree, though, main character vs non-fringe when done right are steps in the right direction, and I think Glee is a good example of a step forward."


jeff's picture


I think the media follows the culture on this one, not the other way around...

With all the GSAs, It Gets Better, etc., etc., the fact that gay teens are on more TV shows are just reflecting reality. At one point, they had the opportunity to lead, and didn't so as much as they could, but now? They're following...

Sure, in some areas of the country, this may seem progressive, but considering TV and media are centered in L.A. and NYC, I think they are just reflecting their environments. For places that aren't up to speed yet, they are showing them the future.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

625539's picture

because glee isn't

because glee isn't stereotypical at all... at the end of the day glee is mainstream because gay characters are a "thing" now. it may not have been the intention of people behind the show (as in writers, ect) but for the networks that's what's important.

what I don't like about gay characters in shows is that their lives are defined by their sexualities. often, that's all there is to their role. being the token gay kid.

however, attention to equality issues is also welcome.

"pleasure is absolute, pain is relative."

whateversexual_llama's picture

right- like i'm still

right- like i'm still waiting for a glbt book for teens that isn't JUST about being gay.

my worry is that putting into the public eye characters who're overwhelmingly stereotypically gay, no matter what the intentions are, will have its own set of negative effects.

jeff's picture


This is TV, not reality, though. TV isn't about three-dimensional characters. It is defining characters strictly about one or two characteristics and then applying that formula across as many episodes as possible.

TV doesn't represent anyone's life accurately, there are just less inaccurate gay characters so we expect them to reflect everything.

Look at the Golden Girls. That is classic TV. This one is always horny. This one is always stupid. This one has the sarcastic tag to every joke, etc.

Gay characters only have a positive effect, because they are bringing things from an already-negative place. I do think part of Glee's charm, though I stopped watching, is that most people on the show *don't* care that Kurt is gay and that the people who have a problem with it are meant to seem stupid and backward.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

funnyflyby's picture

Well, this article just got me to watch Glee

For the first time in my life... I've never been particularly interested in seeing it before. It's kind of a cute show, I must say. I'm entertained, but I do think Glee is kind of overrated...
The thing that's annoying me is how stereotypical Kurt is. Seriously... showing the main gay guy people think of as a small soprano who is worried about a football helmet messing up a hairdo... That's not very helpful. The idea is good, the reactions of people are good... but... yeah. I must say that.
Also, I think that the show kinda realized that this was the general direction people's thoughts are heading, and was just sorta helping it along... not to the point where it would be unrealistic, but enough so it could positively influence people.

The end.