THEY’RE HERE, THEY HAVE NAVELS AND THEY’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE
This week’s episode of Kyle XY on ABC Family was titled “Free to Be You and Me,” and it was just as forward-thinking as that fabulous 1974 album of the same name. I hadn’t seen the show before — confused_ndn‘s forum post alerted me to the whole thing — and I’m not sure I’ll ever watch it again. I mean, XY is right there in the title: It doesn’t exactly call to me, you know?
But the episode was very gay-friendly and fairly amusing, even if the title character is just plain weird. (He has no navel. Figuring out why and where he comes from is the whole reason for the show, but never mind — let’s talk about the gay-friendly stuff already.)
In the episode, straight friends Lori (April Matson) and Hillary (Chelan Simmons) decide to go to the Beachwood High spring dance together, having had their hearts trampled on by thoughtless teenage boys. (Sorry, “thoughtless” was redundant.) But Lori and Hillary can’t get tickets to the dance because the school administration sees them as a same-sex couple. Duly horrified by this behavior ("Apparently they’re still living in the 20th century," says Lori), the two friends join with another friend to hold an alternative dance where all couples are welcome and antiquated attitudes are banned. They even post rainbow flyers and consider it an act of civil disobedience.
I know things have changed a lot since I was in high school, but the idea that teenagers would be shocked by homophobic attitudes is — well, slightly shocking to me. In a good way. Of course, a couple of Beachwood High’s denizens turn out to be homophobes too, but the rest of the main characters are not only supportive of gay rights but also inclined to mock anyone who isn’t.
Even the parents fare well: Lori’s mom joins the cause without a second thought, and Andy, the dance-organizing friend, reveals that she has two moms. As for Kyle himself, he’s thoroughly befuddled by the idea of discrimination against same-sex couples, to the point of noncomprehension. If this is what it means to have no belly button, sign me up for an innie-ectomy!
Here’s a compilation of clips so you can get the gist without unraveling all my rambling:
Yeah, did you see that kiss? Too bad it was sort of a stunt kiss. And too bad the students who are actually gay (Andy’s two “dates”) are merely mentioned, rather than really shown — they didn’t even get to speak for themselves.
And then there’s the clunky line, “We’re not a same-sex couple; we’re just two girls who currently hate men.” Because that’s not any kind of stereotype.