Five reasons why “Glee” bridges the Great Gay Divide


Here’s a test:

If you’re reading this article on, answer this question: Did Rizzoli and Isles end up together on the season finale of Rizzoli & Isles?

If you’re reading this article on, answer this question: Did Sam and Dean end up together on last season’s finale of Supernatural?

If you answered yes or no to either of those questions, you’re wrong! All of those characters are straight and/or related! (Supposedly.) But I’ll bet if I asked AfterElton readers what happened to Bette and Tina in the series finale of The L Word, they’d have no idea. Or if I asked AfterEllen readers what’s happening with Kevin and Scotty on Brothers and Sisters, they’d have no idea. And those are legitimate (fictional) gay couples.

When it comes to LGBT entertainment, there’s a canyon between what the L and the G want to watch on TV — except when it comes to Glee. Those singing and dancing shenanigans are something we can all agree on: We love it!

Here are five reasons why we think Glee bridges the Great Gay Divide.

1) We’ve all cried Kurt Hummel’s tears

The difference between a coming of age story and a coming out story is that one is contingent on age and the other is timeless. Some of Kurt’s internal turmoil is pure adolescence: His struggle with the social hierarchy of youth, his goals and dreams juxtaposed to his father’s hopes and dreams for him, his first pangs of puppy love. And while many Glee viewers — lesbian and gay teens among them — are right there with Kurt, others of us barely remember the awkward struggles of high school. But Kurt’s internal turmoil over his sexuality? That’s something with which lesbian and gay people of all ages can identify.

Should he tell the truth about being gay and risk furthering his social ostricization? Should he confirm his father’s worst fears and drive an even deeper wedge between them? Should he confess to falling for his best friend? Should he voluntarily jump back into the closet when he realizes his dad (read: family) isn’t quite ready to deal with the repercussions of him being out?

It’s a story that resonates with so many lesbian and gay people because it’s a story many of us have lived. Some of us have already navigated the tempestuous waters of coming out and living out, openly. And some of us are still working toward a place of personal authenticity. We mourn Kurt’s personal defeats because we also hope to one day share Kurt’s personal victories.

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