Sunday, June 19, 2011

Talking Points #7 Dean "Gays and Queers" : Argument

In Gays and Queers: From the Centering to the Decentering of Homosexuality in American Films”James Joseph Dean argues the images of gay stereotypes are reinforced, “…there has been an increase in gay images, these images continue to reinforce, to a large extent, stereotypical representations of gays and lesbians as inferior or hyper-visible tokens who are reduced to their homosexuality”(364). An example of gay teens represented as inferior is in the “Pilot” when Curt is thrown in the dumpster. An example of the quote“ hyper visible tokens who are reduced to their homosexuality” is also in the “pilot” when Sandy, the old glee teacher touches a student.
Dean also argues that homosexual characters were presented as rebellious or having a disease, “…up to the end of the 1980s, film scholarship shows that when homosexual characters were featured in films they were typically presented as deviant and pathological human sickness from murderers and sociopaths” (364). In the scene from Linen and Things we find out that Sandy becomes a drug dealer after losing his job at the school, had a long distance girlfriend and smokes marijuana. Deans uses five concepts to analyze sexual identity and normative heterosexuality. They are sexual identities centered or de-centered, gay or lesbian subcultures, how heterosexuality operates with in narrative, how gender identities are presented, and critique of normative heterosexuality or normative gender conventions.
In the “Pilot” episode heterosexuality is seen as important because Curt is bullied for being gay and the athletics see the glee club as gay. The episode also has Schuester as married couple and Fin and his girlfriend. Dean also mentions the fact that a film may focus on the day and lesbian identity, “chiefly, these films make gay and lesbian identity into a uniform and essentialist, identity where the main characters’ lives revolve around their homosexuality” (366). This is true in the “Prom Queen” episode when Curt is named prom queen and Santana Lopez and others must support him. Curt also tries to help Santana’s date accept his gay identity.     
Dean writes about how Steven Seidman’s argument on the normal gay teen, “Hollywood films evidence a shift from the ‘polluted ‘to the ‘normal’ gay. ‘The “normal” gay is presented as being fully human; as the psychological and moral equal of the heterosexual’.  In the show the “normal” gay/lesbian teen would be Santana Lopez. She is a cheerleader and known around school and ran for prom queen. She and her date and are not known as gay or lesbian to the school.  
In “Never Been Kissed” and “Pilot” there are examples of whiteness and a mix of black, white and Asian students , Christianity and American teens that play sports and join clubs.  This show teaches us that “normal” teenagers make fun of teachers, dine and dash, explore sex and hang out and talk. It also teaches us that “normal” teens get kissed. There was a scene in the “Pilot” episode where Emma says, “kids go allow with what is cool even if it is not who they are” it shows that teens will not go against the majority. In the beginning of the “pilot episode” Rachel says “I need a male lead who can keep up with me vocally” and she also says “I am sorry Mr. Schuester, if you cannot give me what I need, I can’t waste her time with Glee” these quotes reinforce the idea, that men are needed for a women to progress. The second quote by Rachel also shows her to be able bodied. She will not wait. she also says that "you cannot wait for someone to give you things, you have to go after them."


  1. Hi! I wrote an extended comment post on your blog :-)

  2. So many gays and lesbians are in fear of coming out of the closest because of harassment and violence.

  3. thank you Jasmine. I read your blog and wanted to posa comment, but was not able to. I like your second example of the connection between Curt being bullied and the reading.

  4. hey, great blog!

    I did my extended comments blog on your blog. hope it's okay :)