I have watched Glee from season one but, admittedly, there have been many times when I really don't like it. In the past I've felt that it has pushed the boundaries and stepped over the line in a variety of ways. It often is over the top and sometimes inappropriate.
But, the writers hit the nail on the head with the way they addressed some of the issues surrounding homosexuality in high school. If you're not familiar with the show, there is one character, Kurt, who has been "out" since the beginning, though he struggled immensely with it--coming out to his father, bullying, and trying to find other gay boys his age to whom he could relate and maybe even date. Then, a female character came out. And not only did she come out, but she broke the stereotypical lesbian mold. As someone who was called gay in high school because I had short hair in middle school and high school (yes, that actually happened), I am familiar with the stereotype. But Santana is voluptuous, gorgeous and very feminine (and she had a reputation among the boys, if you know what I mean).
Last season a football player, who had bullied Kurt relentlessly, also came out. Again, he broke the stereotype. Well, the most recent episode (or at least the most recent for me on Hulu) focused on David and his being "found out" at his new school. His teammates wrote "fag" on his locker and students were bullying him on Facebook and at school. So David went home and attempted to kill himself. Thankfully, he did not succeed. We later come to find out that David's parents also were not supportive of him as he came out to them.
The show presented the story line truthfully and appropriately--I was really impressed. As much as there have been parts of the show that have irked me, this episode made me appreciate the success it has in relating to our teens. And setting raw emotions to music makes it that much more powerful.
The reality is that teens are bullied every day for their sexuality. We know that to be true, but I don't think we really get it. We, as adults, need to set an example for our children and we need to take name-calling and teasing seriously, because they very quickly become bullying. The sad thing is that bullying is not just present in middle school and high school. It becomes more inconspicuous and dangerous in college, and by the time of adulthood, it is engrained. We also see bullying everywhere, without even knowing it. Talk shows, tabloids, stand-up comedy, politicians...we are eating, sleeping and breathing it, folks.
I don't care who you are or what you believe, where you came from or who you know. There is NEVER an excuse to put someone else down. There is NEVER an excuse to tell someone that who they are isn't good enough. There is NEVER an excuse to judge someone on a scale of your own creation. I don't know where you stand on homosexuality, and I'm not telling you that you have to agree with it. But when it comes to our children who are sweet and vulnerable and looking to us for guidance, we need to protect them, love them, and make sure they always know that they are not alone. That's the only way that we can truly mean it when we tell them that It Gets Better.