Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gay Guys in the Media and the Stereotypes that Involve Them

Before reading these articles, I had no idea that Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt in Glee had a the fan base that he does, and that it includes both males and females.  The way that McCracken compared Colfer's swooning fans to those of the Beatles was surprising to me, because when I think of a Beatles fan I think of a young girl who loved the Beatles both for their music and for the sexual attractiveness.  It is interesting to me that young girls and boys alike find Kurt's character to have this same erotic appeal, seeing as he is a homosexual male. yet so many fans of his find him to be sexually appealing, whether they are gay or straight or male or female.

McCracken's articles also made me think of a popular gay couple on tv today: Mitchell and Cameron from Modern Family.  What made me think of this couple was McCracken's argument that Glee acknowledges the stigma attached the males who sing through the jocks on the show who "regularly assert that "singing is gay"", yet also shows male singing as positive in that it is empowering for men in society.  This stereotype that "singing is gay" is also present in the relationship between Mitchell and Cam, because, though both of their characters are gay, Mitchell takes on the typically male role in the relationship; he is a full-time lawyer, he is not very good at things like throwing theme parties and is not as theatrical as Cam's character, whereas Cam plays the more traditionally female role in their marriage.  Cam is a stay-at-home Dad who loves to spend his entire day taking care of their adopted daughter, Lily, and he is an entertainer who can sing, dance, and even used to dress up as a clown for children's birthday parties.  It is interesting to me that Cam's character is the one who happens to love singing, and there is even one episode when Cam gets offended that something thinks that Mitchell is a better singer than he is, because Mitchell doesn't ever enjoy singing.  This stereotypical idea that "singing is gay" is hardly explicitly stated in Modern Family, while it is largely focused on in Glee. 

This article from the blog Femme Butch or Other outlines the relationship that Cam and Mitchell have on Modern Family, showing that even Mitchell thinks of Cameron as the partner in the relationship who identifies more with motherly characteristics, when on Mother's Day he tells Cam, "this is your day".  Another blog post about Kurt from Glee talks about the stereotypes that revolve around Kurt's character, saying that he is often stereotyped in extreme ways, but that all characters on the show have extreme stereotypes, making the show comedic.  This relates to the "irony in knowingness" idea that we talked about earlier this semester, because the show uses this extreme stereotypes to add comedy to the show, therefore making the stereotypes less extreme. 

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