Wednesday, February 23, 2011

#Glee & #Biphobia- Reaction Part 2 of 3

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 So I promised more remarks on tonight's episode of Glee and the "results" of Ryan Murphy's biphobic comments... There's one more episode to go regarding bisexuality, but here's the abbreviated version of my reaction to what happened last night. Overall I wasn't way offended, but was seriously annoyed. Hopefully the next episode will clear things up in a desirable, positive way...

(MAJOR Spoiler Alert, so post is after the jump. Which you won't see if you clicked on the post link... oh yeah...) It was initially written for other Gleeks, so... yeah. (I'm not drunk, just exhausted. I swear ;-P Not that the physiological symptoms of either aren't nearly identical...) I'm going to actually try to make sense of all of this tomorrow, provided I still have internet/electricity.

The Big Scene:
Kurt - "Bisexual is a term that gay guys in high-school use when they wanna hold hands with girls and feel like a normal person for a change!"
Blaine - "Why are you so angry?"
Kurt - "Because I look up to you! I admire how proud you are of who you are. I know what it's like to be in the closet, and here you are about to tiptoe back in!"
Blaine - "I’m really sorry if this hurts your feelings, or your pride, or whatever, but however confusing it might be for you, it’s actually a lot more confusing for me. You’re one hundred percent sure of who you are, fantastic! Well, maybe we all can’t be so lucky."
Kurt - "Yeah, I've had a lot of luck, Blaine. I was really lucky to be chased out of school by a bully who threatened to kill me!"
Blaine - "And why did he do that?"
Kurt - "Because he didn't like who I was."
Blaine - "Sort of exactly what you're saying to me right now, isn't it? I am…searching, okay? I’m honestly just trying to figure out who I am, and for you, of all people, to get down on me for that? I didn’t think that’s who you were. I’ll see ya. I’d say ‘bye’ [bi] but I wouldn’t want to make you angry."

This entire subplot of the episode to me was like one big long Kurt Hummel temper tantrum and one hell of a hangover. (Not that I actually know what a hangover feels like… I’m not really dying to find out either.) The entire bisexuality thing was 10 minutes tops, and very one-sided. We have Blaine trying to justify to himself AND to bitchy Kurt that it’s ok to be curious about seeing where this all goes. And Kurt lashes out at everyone because he can’t deal. It’s rude, it’s unfair, and he’s being an ass. And we get why—he’s upset, he already feels alone and desperately wants someone to be there with/for him, plus he’s obsessively in love with Blaine (the same way he was obsessively in love with Finn, who is now his step-brother). The only difference between Finn and Blaine is that Blaine actually likes Kurt back (but just wants to be friends), and Blaine is actually into guys (without Kurt desperately trying to force him into it like he did with Finn). What he said in that situation was totally uncalled for. (Though in real world, it’s a great example of the things we actually deal with. Kurt played the stereotypical gay person who believes bi people are just too scared to come out as gay and want to “pass” and be seen as “normal.”) So instead of trying to talk Blaine out of dating Rachel, Kurt attacks bisexuals and tries to force Blaine to “stay gay.” Blaine’s bicuriosity was taken as a personal attack – and this was quite an interesting use of actual fan reactions. Remember all of those complaints about how gay kids were losing a mentor, someone they looked up to, etc? He turns a situation where his friend is hurting/confused into a situation where it’s all about how he is hurt and betrayed. Oh, Kurt…

But his anger didn’t seem like it was directed at Blaine for liking Rachel. There is such a sharp contrast in the way Kurt expresses his anger with Blaine and with Rachel. Kurt immediately attacks Blaine for doing something that goes against “being gay.” For agreeing to go out on a date with a girl Blaine might like. He could have gone the “but it’s RACHEL” route and actually talked about why dating Rachel was a bad idea. He could have gone a number of ways (ha! No, no, Kurt believes in one way, as we see here… Stupid punny jokes…) but no, instead he chooses to attack Blaine’s sexuality and to go on a little biphobic rant, based on his friend’s confession that he might be legitimately interested in dating someone not of the gender Kurt wants Blaine to exclusively prefer. (I love how all of this was precluded with Kurt’s comment about how he’s still trying to impress Blaine. Oh yea, verbally bashing him for questioning his sexuality is totally the way to win him over…) And with Rachel, Kurt shoves her aside, calling her Blaine’s “hag” as if she is just the latest accessory (which I found very interesting…), and personally insulting her. He goes on to say that she and Blaine will never have real, lasting chemistry. Rachel tries to prove Kurt wrong by kissing Blaine while they are both sober. Kurt expresses some concern about Rachel getting hurt. She doesn’t care, she just wants to see what happens. Unfortunately, this kiss is what convinces Blaine that he is in fact gay, and Rachel shrugs it all off as “omg now I can go write a song about having an ex-boyfriend who turned out to be gay!” [facepalm] 

Every character has their flaws. Self-centered, jealous Kurt is just... pathetic. Maybe he's heartbroken, but he was still being a total ass about it. I get that he's a teen and all, and perhaps many of us also had those little moments of "it's all about me!" when we were his age, but this kind of reaction was totally uncalled for, selfish, rude, and really unfair to his "friend" Blaine. Kurt was so desperate to have another out gay friend and/or boyfriend that he would practically try to force Finn to be with him. It didn't matter how Finn actually felt, or who he actually liked, so long as Kurt got what he wanted. That was all that mattered to him-- that things would turn out exactly the way he imagined they should. And then the moment something gets in the way of what he wants, he throws a tantrum and lashes out. He always expects everyone to accept him for who he is, but then expects others to be who he thinks they should be. And now he is doing it to Blaine, who rightfully points out that Kurt is being a total bully. A bully who hurt Blaine when he was feeling very vulnerable and needed a friend. As I said before, this was Kurt’s chance to be a friend to Blaine, to be Blaine’s Courage and support system. Kurt- you failed miserably. Stop taking out your feelings on everyone else because you can’t deal. That was Karofsky’s problem, and now you’re making it yours.

Viewers were left with a one-sided, closed minded view of bisexuality. This episode barely even scratched the surface, and then covered it up like nothing ever happened. It was just a drunken kiss, a bit of fun— hey, isn’t that just a little bit like the concept of the “bar-sexual,” another bi myth/stereotype? You know, like portraying bisexuality as just one of those wild adventurous things people do when they’re wasted? Make a character get so drunk they’ll make out with anyone, and it’s usually for someone else’s entertainment. Or to “try it out” with an easy out. Hmm… (Certainly relevant, but if I go off on that tangent I’m never coming back.) But the upside to this is that the storyline isn’t over just yet. There is one more episode of bisexual questioning…  And Kurt’s comments can be addressed for real this time. Look at me being all hopeful and optimistic and shit. But still… I’m not particularly fond of the way the episode ended. 

Granted, the “resolution” to Blaine’s confusion was a little bit much, but when you’re dealing with a drunk kiss during Spin the Bottle? Fine. You know what, it sucks, but I can deal with that for now. He tried again while sober to see if his feelings were real, they apparently weren’t, ok moving on. So the point of all of this was…? There was none? Moral of the story is when you get drunk and make out and you feel something for the other person, don’t bother worrying if you could actually attracted to them because you’re just drunk and stupid and hey, bisexuality doesn’t even exist anyway because you have to end up with Kurt or he’ll kill you.

And I’m not sure I like the idea of Blaine simply forgetting about what Kurt had said to him. (Which is what I/we assume as of right now. He didn’t actually say a word to Kurt after that last kiss. He left to go to the bathroom, Kurt and Rachel talked, and The End.) Yeah, well maybe Blaine is “100% gay” or whatever he decided. That doesn’t mean that Kurt was right about bisexual guys. And since we only have Kurt’s comments to go on... overall it wasn’t an entirely positive view of bisexuality. Biphobic Kurt was the one left looking like an idiot, only to be proven right about Blaine (sort of). This I consider FAIL, Ryan Murphy. (Blaine’s initial retort was partial-WIN. Until the end scene, unless he’s lying for Kurt’s sake about being 100% gay. I have this crazy idea in my head that maybe everyone just wants us to think Blaine is 100% gay. Which would be awesome yet sad and super depressing… Poor closeted bi Blaine giving in to the bully… Someone needs to write this for me. Actually never mind, I’ll do it myself…) There was probably potential to make this great in there somewhere, but there simply was not enough time allowed to get anywhere with this. The entire bi "issue" took up a teeny corner of the episode, and consisted of 2 kisses (1 of them as a part of drunken Spin the Bottle), and a diva tantrum/argument over coffee. Call me crazy, but I seriously don't think that's enough time for a "relationship" as Rachel put it, or for a "confused" guy trying to find out who he is to... well, find out who he is. It's hard to say this, because only he could know for sure. And yea there's the fluidity argument, but again, only Blaine can really know... Besides, we all know that just because you don't feel anything for one person, it doesn't mean you can't ever feel anything for someone else... I don't want to go the "well maybe he just hasn't met the right girl yet" route because I hate that so much and it can be so damn hurtful and offensive and wrong, but if it turned out that he's really bi, I suppose it is technically a possibility...  And he already said he just wants to be Kurt's friend... I dunno... This is a rough thing to argue. So many mixed feelings... Which is why this post is taking sooo much longer than any other, and I'm still not really getting anywhere.

For once I actually liked Blaine. Not only do I like Vulnerable Blaine more than Pompous Self-Centered Blaine, but Vulnerable Blaine actually sounds like a human being for once… (Shocking, honestly... He has his moments, rare as they are.) RM switched it up on me-- well played, sir. But this Kurt? Not a fan. Not at all. :( (Ok, with 1 notable exception. Last thing he said to Burt - "But maybe you could step outside your comfort zone and educate yourself,  so if I have any questions I could go to my dad like any straight son could." That is awesomeness right there.)

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