“Glee” Fails to Show Real Consequences of Outing

“Glee” Fails to Show Real Consequences of Outing
By Crystal Cierlak

We have probably all been in a situation where we’re arguing or fighting with someone and they’re saying some rather unpleasant things about us. They’re “winning” the argument and their momentum for unleashing insult after insult is gaining in strength while we struggle to find one thing to say. And when we finally find the meanest insult we can think of, the one we think will knock this person off their horse and make them stop, it’s so horrific that we’re filled with regret by the time the last word is out of our mouth.

That’s what happened on “Glee” last night, when Finn publicly outed Santana in the hallways of McKinley High. And he didn’t stop there. Not only did he out her, but he then elaborated on what kind of person she is, the fact that she torments others because she can’t deal with her own struggle, and that she should just come out and be done with it. While the beginning of the exchange did an excellent job of illustrating just how much of a bully Santana really is, there is no justification in the world for Finn outing her. What made it worse is that an informant who saw the exchange leaked the information to an unknown character running for Congress and who used the information as a campaign tactic against another opponent, Sue Sylvester. All of a sudden Santana was being outed in front of a much larger audience, one that includes her parents, whom she hasn’t come out to yet.

The candidate running for Congress won’t get the blame for publicly outing a teenager because they’re a character we’ve never seen before and for all intents and purposes the character probably didn’t know that Santana wasn’t an out lesbian. Unfortunately, the show also made no attempt to indicate that Finn felt any sort of remorse for his actions. In fact, he looked relieved to have finally beaten Santana at her own game. For a character who has a gay brother-in-law and who espouses the virtues of sticking together (the reason they chose a Hall and Oates song for their “mash off” instead of a band that had broken up) he sure does lack a lot of common sense when it comes to the gay community.

The real issue here is not necessarily the characters on this television show but the writers and producers who bring the show into our homes every week. The show has taken on issues pertaining to gay teenagers in a very big way (having successfully told a story about two gay teenagers losing their virginity the week prior) but really missed the mark here. There could have been so much more they could have shown us, more to give us food for thought on how to handle such situations. The fact that Finn felt no remorse for his actions when he is a main character is sloppy and does nothing to add a dimension to his character.

And then there is Santana. Is she a bully whose bracing tactics have been seen as funny and “fierce”? Yes. It’s actually unbelievable that a bullying character like Karofsky (who has no transferred to a new school and living a mostly out gay life) was shown to have little to no redeeming qualities and largely painted as a villain of shorts, and then there is Santana who has built a reputation for being a bitch to everyone since the first episode and her bullying is just considered to be one funny quip after another. Did she need a reality check? Absolutely! This was not the way to do it, certainly not without Finn’s character suffering a bigger consequence than being slapped in front of his friends and peers.

Where can the show go from here? In an ideal world they would address the issue and use their very popular show to teach the kids watching at home why it’s not okay to out someone, that coming out is a very personal and private ordeal that must be done on an individual’s own time, and that outing another person is no way to retaliate due to bullying. I imagine the show won’t do that. Instead, next week they’ll be singing “I Kissed a Girl”, a song that exploits sexual curiosity and exploration for profit and, by the looks of the promotion for next week, won’t address the issue at all. There have been many criticisms about “Glee” not maintaining continuity in the past but as a show that prides itself on being a banner for teens both gay and straight, it’s sorely disappointing that the storyline lacks the capacity to be explored in all of its complexity.

The makers of “Glee” have taken on the responsibility of being the voice on TV for gay teens and teens with gay friends. If they won’t take on the responsibility of showing it from all facets then they’re doing their audience and themselves a disservice. A very sad disservice. 

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

A few days ago (maybe last weekend?) I went browsing through a local bargain store for a great mirror to add to my room. I used to keep a small, gold framed mirror in my room, but when I moved away to college the mirror was taken and put in the bathroom. While at school I was shopping with Jeff and found a beautiful silver framed mirror that was very sparkly and girly and wonderful and I didn't buy it at the time. A mistake. So when I went looking last Sunday I was hoping to find something similar, which I didn't, and instead found a great gold framed mirror that is very large and very inexpensive. Today I'm going to go pick it up and make it fit into my room somehow. I've been working with a lot of browns and creams and gold colors in my room but everything is sort of mashed up at this point. I think it will look okay no matter what.

To read my full blog, please direct yourself to http://colorlovelife.blogspot.com 
  • Current Music
    Fern Dell, Mandy Moore

Life Planning

 (Taken from my blog, Color Love Life &)...
Recently Jeff and I have had talks about our future and it's come out that we're on different life paths right now. Perhaps for some people that would cause them to break up or change their relationship, but we decided to instead compromise. He's decided to take on one extra year to get his BS in Biology (with an emphasis on genetics) because of the way classes are offered and how he wants to improve his GPA so he can get into a good grad program. Before, I was prepared to wait the 1 year for the BS and two additional years for the MS and at that time we would look at marriage and having kids. But I've realized and since confessed to him that, in light of the extra year for the BS and the fact that he's reconsidering getting a PhD, I can't wait quite that long. He's been telling me to go on with my life and to keep making life plans without him, and I've been trying to reiterate to him that my plans are done and what I want to do in the next phase of my life is to get married and start a family. I know how Mary Sue that sounds, but it's really true for me. I feel emotionally and academically done with school for the time being. I have my BA and two AAs and eventually I do want to get an MA in art history or even an MFA (something I've recently considered), but right now it's not right for me. I'm 26 years old and my acquaintances (outside of college) are all married/with kids and I want that happiness right now. So I can't very well plan events for my life without Jeff when what I want so clearly involves Jeff. So, compromise. 
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Going Private

I've decided to make this for friends-only, as I plan on putting some of my writing up here for people to read, and I'd like to be able to control who reads and who doesn't read my work.  If you'd like to be added to my friends list, just comment here and I'll be sure to add you. Thanks!

<3 Crystal

Looking Back: January - May 2007

Looking back now, it would have been impossible to know that 2007 was going to be a major turning point in my life.  In the last few months of 2006 I was taking a full load at my local community college and looking down a lighted path paved to my future.  I was a few months away from graduating from college with two Associates degrees and was planning on applying to university.  In November of '06 I applied to California State University Channel Islands and started a six month relationship with this grand idea that would change a lot of things in my life for me. 

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What Do You Have To Say? - Ten Years From Now...

Where do you think you'll be in ten years?
Well in ten years I'll be turning 35 years old.  I hope to have graduated from USC with an M.P.A.S.  (Masters of Public Art Studies), be married and have a child.  And also have a really stellar career that I love and which keeps me in a comfortable lifestyle in a beautiful home.