Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kurt and Blaine: Rebel Rousers or Innocent Lovers?

Not only is Glee innovative in that it introduces a healthy, male-homosexual relationship on network television, but it also works to deconstruct the stereotypical assumption that all male singers are flamboyant, homosexuals. The world of Dalton, for instance, is the Emerald City of this new age gender fluidity. It is a group of arguably metrosexual teenage men, singing fabulous acapella tunes; however, their sexuality is not addressed (except for Kurt and Blaine). Klaine has become the icon of blissful, gay love that developed through the romantic courting akin to Humphrey Bogart’s classic, Casablanca. They have fallen in love like teenagers do: singing love songs together, holding hands in the hallway and having the inevitably awkward sex talk with their parents—gender has only enhanced the admiration from fans.

One of the most powerful thematic aspects of Glee is that every character is posed as an outcast and attracts “Losers Like Me” from every social stratum; this marginalization is embodied in vocals. But unlike American Idol or The Voice, these voices defy gravity. Kurt especially proves to the world that men can emulate women; his voice (and of course his expression) becomes iconic as "gender queer." Expression is so fundamental to sustaining one’s individuality and using it as a tool for empowerment and Glee does a phenomenal job of highlighting this motif in LGBT pop culture and beyond.

The majority of the show operates heteronormally—men singing to women about love and sex—however, the divisions within the relationships are more unique and empowering. For instance, America’s second favorite gay couple—Britanna—uses gendered songs to express their growing love for one another. This article only talks about Klaine, but Britanny and Santana also defy the gender norms in their homosexual romance. Santana and Brittany sing “Landslide” together; however, this is not a gendered song, so the lack of pronouns almost normalizes their singing it together and makes it less “shocking” to hear two women announcing their love. Later in the show, Santana sings “Someone Like You” to Brittany after being outed and brings everyone to tears as she reminds us, “sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead;” her advice rings true regardless of your partner’s gender.

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