'Glee': Kurt's Comeback and the Gay Prom Debate
'Glee': Kurt's Comeback and the Gay Prom Debate
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
At this year's Paley Festival, the Glee cast revealed a few details about the end of this season, and the big story centers around Kurt, Blaine and the prom. As you could've predicted, Chris Colfer revealed that Kurt will be coming back to McKinley High later this season, because in the world of Glee, students transfer in and out of schools at the drop of a hat.

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In addition, Ryan Murphy promises a "ripped from the headlines" gay prom storyline, complete with a performance by the Warblers at the McKinley prom. Murphy also revealed that Blaine won't be transferring to McKinley. At least not until next season.

For Love or Money?

My big question is about why and how Kurt will come back? There seem to be two major possibilities. First, he might just miss all of his good friends and want to come back, especially now that he has a boyfriend and is more confident in who he is. However, the more likely reason would be money. Kurt transferred to the expensive Dalton Academy thanks to his dad and Finn's mom giving him their honeymoon money, but realistically, they can't afford more than a semester of the private school. Financially, it seems inevitable that Kurt would have to leave at some point.

But none of this solves the bigger problem: Karofsky. Kurt left because he was being bullied, but since Karofsky hasn't learned his lesson, he still poses a threat to Kurt. Again, there are two ways to solve this problem. First, Karofsky could come out, but that seems highly unlikely given everything we've seen from that character. The other, easier solution is that his parents send him away to military school for acting out, but that feels like cheating and just avoiding the problem.

I suppose there's a third option, but it's probably way too dark for the show. If Murphy and his team really wanted to do a ripped from the headlines story, Karofsky, so ashamed of who he is, could try to take his own life. It's a tragic thought, but it does sometimes happen. But as I said, the shiny, happy Glee would never go that dark or realistic.

Is a Gay Prom Really Risque?

My other issue with what we learned from the Paley Festival is the notion that Glee will do a storyline about the struggles of gay students at the prom. Maybe I'm incredibly naïve, but it's 2011, and while this kind of bigotry still exists, it feels more like a problem in the rural south. The most famous recent case involved a lesbian wanting to bring her girlfriend to a prom in Mississippi. But it seems less likely to happen in Ohio, especially the Glee version where the state has more show choirs than Applebees.

I understand that Glee wants to try to teach America lessons about tolerance and acceptance, but my main problem with this has always been that Glee takes place in a hyper-reality. The characters and settings on the show are so heightened that they don't resemble the real world. No school has a coach like Sue Sylvester, and if she really existed, she would've been fired a long time ago for what she does to the children. So while homophobia may still be a problem in the real world, the world of Glee is definitely a lot more accepting with Kurt's crusading.

And while Karofsky bullied Kurt into leaving, overall the students seem either supportive or indifferent to Kurt's homosexuality. The world of Glee is already incredibly accepting of Kurt's sexual orientation, so whenever the show does a storyline about him facing adversity, it smells disingenuous to me, like the writers are worried more about their own political agenda than being true to the characters and story they've created.

On Glee, Kurt is just a kid and, for the most part, people try to treat him the same way they treat everyone else. He gets slushied not because he's gay, but because he's in the glee club. He gets called "Lady" and "Porcelain" not because Sue is homophobic, but because she's equally cruel to all students. Maybe Glee will surprise me, but to do that, the show needs to get over itself and stop thinking that Kurt's homosexuality is anything special.

Being gay isn't a disability you need to overcome or a lifestyle that needs to be forced into acceptance. It's just one part of who he is, and the sooner people realize that homosexuality isn't a big deal, the better.

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Source: Zap2It
(Image courtesy of WENN)