Glee and LGBTQ Youth
Last night’s Glee episode demonstrated once again why I love that show. Although the plot lines can be incredibly predictable, and the auto-tune often bothers me to the point of grinding my teeth, this show has been a great force for LGBTQ youth. Warning: Spoilers after the jump.
Mercedes and Kurt were approached by Wade, a member of Vocal Adrenaline, their biggest rivals. Wade came to ask for their advice. Wade has an alter-ego, named Unique, and reveals later in the episode that he would like to live as his more confident alter-ego.
The twist? Unique is female. This character is one of the first transgender youth on network television, and the scene where Wade has transformed into Unique actually gave me goosebumps. The performance was spectacular, I think that this particular episode can serve as a great starting point for parents to discuss transgender issues with their children.
My first exposure to transgenderism was through Hillary Swank’s character in Boys Don’t Cry. The movie is gritty and dark, and her character has some incredibly moving moments, but it didn’t impact me in a serious way until just a year or so ago, one of my friends came out as transgender. He seems to be much happier living as a man, instead of as an androgynous lesbian. Although I haven’t been able to see him in the past year, I have been as supportive as my limited contact through Facebook has allowed.
Between Donald Trump’s recent decision to allow transgender women to compete in beauty pageants to the heartwarming stories of parents accepting their children’s transgender identities,
the struggles and triumphs of transgender men and women have been in the news more often of late. This can only mean good things for the brave men and women who live these struggles and triumphs every day of their lives.
Thank you, Glee and FOX, for continuing to showcase LGBTQ youth in a positive and engaging light.