The value of gay friendships — Glee

15 03 2011

Gay relationships: it’s been done.  There is even the now-cliche in films and stories of the gay guy who has the biggest crush on his friend and if only his friend knew… but then his friend does know and they get together and they live happily ever after!  The end.

And sometimes even when you have a gay friend, there’s this implication that the two of you might get together just because you’re both gay, which seems bizarre but I’ve felt that in the past when meeting new gay people.  I came across an article many years ago about the importance of gay friendships and at the time, I didn’t think much of it.

Until Glee came along.

So for those who don’t watch this wonderful show, Kurt is the token gay character in the show.  He’s out in high school but a homophobic bully (who also happens to be closeted) makes him leave.  Kurt then transfers to an all-boys school where homophobia and any forms of hate are non-existent.  If only all high school across America and in the world, for that matter, were like Dalton Academy.

At Dalton, Kurt meets Blaine, a member of the school’s glee club who also happens to be gay.  Kurt is smitten with him and back in February, in time for Valentine’s Day, Kurt confesses his like for Blaine.  Perhaps surprising for many viewers, Blaine doesn’t feel the same for his friend, and says, “He doesn’t want to screw this up.”

How refreshing, I thought to myself, to see two gay characters on TV who didn’t hookup just because they both happened to be gay.  In fact, all this time, I had been wishing Klaine, as folks call the couple, would stay two separate words.

Here’s why: Blaine is confident of himself and his talents.  Sure, he had a slight questioning episode with that kiss with Rachel, but when we first met him, he appeared to be miles out of the closet whereas Kurt, although out at McKinley, was still emotionally vulnerable to homophobia.  Blaine seemed, at least to me, the kind of person, Kurt needed to become a more confident, smarter, gay person in the future.  I didn’t see Blaine as someone who would or should be romantically involved with Kurt, at least not for the time being.  So when Blaine told Kurt he didn’t want to mess things up between the two of them, I thought for sure they’d stay good friends, which I was more than happy with.  After all, Blaine can still support Kurt and they can both still be friends.

And why should they be together?  Besides the fact that they both happen to be gay, why should they?  “They would look so cute together!” is also not a valid response.

I commended the writers for keeping Klaine as friends because I thought it was refreshing to have two young gay characters who weren’t together just for the sake of throwing couples together (*ahem, Degrassi, ahem).  And not just that, but I felt like it was saying something important about the value of gay friendships rather than relationships.

Anyway.  But as of tonight’s episode — that’s a spoiler alert, by the way — after Blaine found himself looking at Kurt in a different light and kissing him, it appears that the two are now an item, which I have to say I’m not surprised to see, though I am a little disappointed.  I guess we’ll see how things play out with the two of them.

In the meantime, I’ll cheer for Klaine, er, Blaine + Kurt.



2 responses

16 03 2011

I really enjoyed tonight’s episode, especially having become friends with a lot of other gay guys recently.

16 03 2011

This is sort of random, but it’s interesting how in some modern societies that are generally tut-tut about homosexuality (e.g. East Asia, Middle East), male bonding and being touchy-feely with other men (stuff that would make men in the West question their sexuality) is totally okay.

I wonder how it is that the “liberal” and “progressive” West has a different take on male gender performance than in other parts of the world, and vice versa. Too bad there aren’t any Gender Studies classes at UBC that cover this.

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