Lesson to Unlearn from Glee – Season 3, Episode 7

Look at how timely I’m being!

The lesson: By “we want you to be yourself,” we mean “we want to decide who you are and how you express it, and if you don’t like our definitions or methods, it’s because you hate yourself.” Look, this was a Glee classic in terms of presenting a totally bonehead, asshole, ridiculous notion as if it were The One True Path. So last week, Finn announced to a crowded hallway that Santana was into the ladies, and then there was going to be a political ad about it for some asinine reason, and Santana was so righteously angry at Finn’s careless public outing and the lack of control she now had on a major part of her life, so she smacked him hard across the face and the audience cheered because seriously, Finn? Seriously?

Only this week it seems that Santana was wrong to smack him and she’s going to get suspended (even as she quite rightly points out that no one who’s slushied the Glee club has gotten suspended) until Saint Finn rides in to her rescue on one condition – that she listen to everyone else tell her who she should be and how she should express it and then pretend she thinks it’s empowering. So they all sing lady-songs at Santana for some strange-ass reason and Finn blubbers at Santana about how he’ll never forgive himself if Santana kills herself, and then Santana finally breaks down and realizes that all this public outing and pressure to fit into the Glee club’s definition of how she should express her sexuality is right, and she spends the rest of the episode outing her own damn self, mostly off-stage, and once to her abuela, in actually a well-acted and affecting scene, although, Ryan Murphy, dude, not everyone who hates the gays is themselves gay. (What, you didn’t think her abuela was clearly implying that she herself was a closeted homosexual? Come on.)

The truth: Finn was a jack-hole. Nothing he did or said was in any way right. He is totally the Dawson of this show, in that the creator of the show clearly has a major hard-on for him and believes that the things he does are saintly and “nice” and perfect, whereas the rest of see an self-involved, egotistical jackass. So, listen, kids of America – people get to come out on their own schedules. They get to decide who they are, who they want to tell about who they are, and when. You don’t know their lives, their feelings, their needs, their fears, and their preferences better than they do. This is actually true of anything your friends say or think or feel, whether it’s “I think I’m gay,” or “I think this poem I wrote is really good.” But obviously publicizing a poem, while scary, does not have nearly the social consequences or life-altering effects that telling people you’re gay does. So while you should not force your friends to express any part of themselves publicly that they don’t want to, you should really, really, really not publicly out someone. I don’t care why; if you do, you’re an asshole, even if the creator of your show loves you.

As long as we’re all here, I must address the music in this episode, because it was very mixed for me. I love to hear Kurt and Blaine singing together, so that was nice. I liked hearing from Coach Bieste. And I think hearing Mark Salling sing Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m the Only One” got me spontaneously pregnant with his babies. But when I see “I Kissed A Girl,” my first thought is always of Jill Sobule’s “I Kissed a Girl,” and I like that song so much better. Not in the least because it’s a lot less insulting to actual lesbians. I mean, it’s still about two heretofore heterosexual girls getting it on, but, unlike the Katie Perry song, they don’t have an audience, they’re not drunk, and instead of expressing the hope every six seconds that their boyfriends are enjoying the spectacle, they are instead expressing dissatisfaction with their boyfriends. I mean, the girls were adorable in this number, and the encounter  with the doofy jock that starts off the song – the one who’s all, “Lesbianism is hot because it just means you need a dick like mine to straighten you out” – that’s real life. I have a friend who came out our freshman year of college. I think she encountered that guy, like, at least ten times in the process. But still. I hate that song, and I hate it more for not being the “I Kissed a Girl” I do want to hear.

And the less said about Finn’s execrable, ballad-y rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” the better.

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