Entertainment Weekly has rolled its newest issue featuring a cover story on gay teens on TV. Highlighted are Kurt and Blaine, characters from the series Glee. EW poses the question, “How did gay teens go from marginalized outcasts and goofy sidekicks to some of the highest profile — and most beloved — characters…?” In addition to Glee, they reference 90210, Pretty Little Liars, and Skins. All shows I don’t watch…but I’m happy to see gay teens being represented on mainstream TV.
The real question, and one you’ll have to pick up a copy of the magazine for, has to do with the pop culture affect on real teens. Will bullying of gay teens decrease because of positive images of gays in ficitional series? I’m hoping that’s the case, however, the kind of bullies that pull this shit on homosexual teens are unlikely to be fans of Glee or Pretty Little Liars. More likely they watch professional wrestling, shows that are dripping with testosterone. Not that girls can’t be bigots–is there anything worse than a know-it-all Christian teenyboppers quoting scripture?
If you want read more on gay teens throughout TV history try AfterElton.com’s rundown. They cover everything from Queer As Folk to As The World Turns.
You know what I’m looking forward to?The breakout series that has gay testosterone with no apologies and can be watched by straights as well as gay men. Soaps and gossipy girl shows are fine, but what about a gay action hero? The scaredy-cat networks won’t try it, but possibly Showtime or HBO might. It could be done with a little tongue-in-cheek (pardon the pun) but really the setup needs to include a main action hero who happens to be an out-of-the closet gay who takes no shit, a sexy female partner (as eye candy for us straights), and some good stunts and special effects. Don’t think it would work?What if you had a plotline based on hate-king Fred Phelps, a villainous stereotype who is punishing America for allowing gay rights–that way everyone is a victim regardless of sex or gender preference. All we would want to see is our hero kick some ass. We can tolerate some male on male kissing as long as we get our own T&A on the side. Just mix it all up.
I kid, but I think it could be around the corner to have some really smart leading gay characters that appeal to men in general instead of just soap scenarios for girls and gays. I mean are all gay people catty Bravo channel watchers? When that happens, then there may be some inroads to reach the stupidity of male teenage straights and help relieve the bullying.