Thursday, May 13, 2010

There's No Business Like 'Mo Business

So by now, everyone and their dog and their dog's mistress have weighed in on Ramin Setoodeh's article in Newsweek, with the opinions ranging from "What a douchebag" to "Who's Ramin Setoodeh?"

Anyway, Dustin made a list on Pajiba of the least "Gay" Gay characters on TV. While I can appreciate the importance of having strong gay role models in the media that don't necessarily kowtow to the ideal of what people think a stereotypical character should be, fact of the matter is, we need our femme, showtune-obsessed queens as much as we need the strong, masculine gay men.

[Note: For the sake of simplification, I'm going to use Glee's Kurt Hummel as my representative for the effeminate side of gay characterization, and for the masculine side of the equation, I'm going to be using Torchwood's Captain Jack.]

On one hand, we have Kurt. Kurt dresses in equal parts discomfort and high-fashion. He moisturizes more often than most people shower, he wears impossibly high-end clothes for someone without a high school diploma and he can name every single song from Wicked before I could name even one. He is, essentially, a walking gay stereotype.

On the other side, we have Captain Jack. Gallant, daring, and unabashedly bisexual. Not straight up gay, but in all fairness, this is a man who can kiss a woman one second then play tonsil hockey with a guy the next. He is, for the most part, a very masculine man who just so happens to like banging other guys.

But fact of the matter is, we need both of these characters on TV. It's easy to write Kurt off as just another stereotype, detrimental to the notion of homosexuality in modern cultural, but that would be too easy, and in all honesty, something of a disservice.
Is Kurt a big, capital-F fuh-lay-min' queen? You bet your ass it is. That's why we need him. Kurt represents, if not what homosexuality actually is, then at least one of the most fundamental ideas behind it: the ability to be who you are without feeling ashamed of it. Kurt may skew towards the more feminine side, but so what? He has a good head on his shoulders, he has a healthy self-image about himself, and furthermore, he's a positive model for young gay teens everywhere, a group who quite frankly is in desperate need of someone to look up to. Yes, there are plenty of little gay kids out there who do indeed read Cosmo, enroll in the artistic extra-curriculars at school, and use skin creams. They at least deserve, if not need, a strong, gay character they can associate with.
But of course, we also need Captain Jack. Captain Jack is how we balance out the anima in all of this. He's essentially here to prove that yes, you too can fuck guys and still kick ungodly amounts of ass in a barfight, or if need be, travel through time and space. We're here, we're queer, and we can cave in your windpipe with a good, solid kick if you fucking make us.

Together, it creates the sense of balance of they gay community. Gay isn't a personality; it's just a matter of what you happen to be sticking your penis into (or, depending on your mood, who's sticking a penis in you.) We need a diverse range of characters because, well, we're pretty goddamn diverse ourselves. There will never be a gay character that can fully encompass all gay people; hell, there will never be a character that fully encompasses any group. Simply put, a person is not a people. Why bother limiting ourselves to just one kind?


Carlisleboy said...

Great Blog post! I happen to love both Captain Jack(Heck, I went to Cardiff Last year on my European vacation in part because Torchwood and Doctor Who are Filmed there)And Kurt.
Hummm, Since John Barrowman also sings, dances and does everything else maybe we could see Him on Glee in the future.
It never hurts to dream!
Hope you are feeling better, and Be Safe on your trip!

Mareczku said...

Yes, this is a great post. Hope that you are feeling better, Jeremy. Warmest hugs - Mark

PS - Miss your comments on Turk's blog. Stop by and say hi to Turk and all the guys.

Mareczku said...

Jeremy, I hope that you are doing OK. This has been a long haul for you. I just said a prayer for you. Sending you get well hugs my friend.

Love - Mark

Mareczku said...

Glad to see that you are up and twittering, Jeremy. I hope that the buttload of medication served you well. Take care and God bless my friend.

Love & Hugs - Mark

Mareczku said...

PS, I actually said a prayer for you at Mass this morning, Jeremy. I am another Catholic school boy. The last time I missed Mass was before you were born.

More hugs - Mark