Gay equality in pop culture, or why Kurt and Blaine need to fuck
I recently retweeted someone who said they were going to stop watching Glee if Kurt and Blaine didn’t start fucking. As awkward as Kurt’s “o” face might be to see, I think it is of great importance that Glee allows its gay characters to be sexualized. Here’s why:
People see gay depictions in pop culture as “edgy.” Realistically, though, it’s edgy in the sense that racial integration is edgy. That is to say it isn’t. Making a date rape joke is edgy (perhaps flirting with tasteless). Depicting your characters as first class citizens is progress toward equality. Be careful not to confuse the two, because in a world where assertions that gay people should be treated equally demand a person disagreeing with that assertion for a news piece to be considered “fair and balanced,” it is very easy to confuse the two.
Whereas there was no controversy when Brittany took Artie’s virginity (and it was progressive of Glee producers to let the wheelchair bound one get laid, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen), it would give even the most progressive TV viewer pause to see Kurt going down on some other guy (which honestly would be the best scene you can do there as it minimizes how much of Kurt’s face you’d have to see*). We have made gay sex into such a taboo topic that it would surely raise controversy if it were aired. It would cause debate, and it would cause a conversation to happen. But gay sex between two high schoolers isn’t any less morally sound than equivalent heterosexual sex, and it isn’t any less appropriate to show on TV. Our pop culture portrays a very heteronormative view of sex, and although I don’t think it’s ever hindered two willing gay people from actually having sex, the lack of validation and example continues to ostracize gay people.
Gay people are very accepting of straight people’s sex lives. We don’t frown upon it as something that is unnatural just because it isn’t the way we do it. We don’t protest hetero sex ed, yelling that we don’t want the gubment teaching our kids straight sex. Straight people and gay people alike need the exposure to gay people as fully sexualized beings so that we can truly appreciate each other’s differences and appreciate that sex brings us together as a species, even if we do it differently. Realistically, gay and straight sex aren’t radically different from one another. And it’s important that young gay people get to see that gay people have relationships that go just as far as straight people’s relationships.
This isn’t a demand that Glee actually even shows Kurt having sex, but viewers should be able to infer that’s what’s happening. It’s not the display of the sex act that’s important; it’s the fact that a sex act happens at all that’s important.
*Kurt’s face is not ugly. I just don’t see it working in a sex scene.