LGBTQ Support, Pop Culture Shenanigans

Why I Love Watching ‘Glee’ With My Daughter

Nikki watches a lot of ‘Glee’ with me. Now, let me start by making 2 things clear:

#1) I’m a die-hard Gleek and try to force anyone around me to watch it with me every week.

#2) I still proof many episodes before letting my daughter watch them. Some of the more adult-themed episodes (Like when Britney believed in Santa Clause) I watch first and then let her see just some of the musical numbers or “safe” scenes.

But for the most, every week, we watch ‘Glee’ together. The Valentine’s Day episode last year when Kurt was heartbroken because Blaine professed his love for the Gap guy? She was sad for Kurt. The episode several weeks later when they finally got together with a sweet kiss? She squealed right along with me. (Sidenote: When she sees clips of Darren Criss in “A Very Potter Musical” she refers to him as “Kurt’s boyfriend.” As in, “Kurt’s boyfriend is Harry Potter.” This is a very confusing statement when heard out of context. Ginny would be pissed.) When Santana’s grandmother yelled at her for declaring her love for Brittany? Nikki asked many questions starting with: “Why is she so angry?”

And then in this week’s episode, we get to meet Rachel’s Dads. When we saw the preview Nikki asked several questions: “Which one is REALLY her Dad?” “So where is her Mom?” “Are her Dads married?”

Beyond the musical numbers, ‘Glee’ fosters conversation in my home that I want to encourage. We don’t have weekly interactions with gay couples with children, but I love that ‘Glee’ gives her a chance to put a kind, family-centered visual to that concept. She is no more grossed out by Blaine and Kurt kissing than she is Rachel and Finn. (She just doesn’t like kissing on TV from ANYONE.) She knows that “Ellen has a wife” and that’s her Go-To example when we talk to Wes about how girls can love girls instead of boys.

(Sidenote: Once she said, “Ellen has a VERY PRETTY wife. She’s probably too pretty to marry a boy, that’s why she had to marry a girl.” I like that idea, that some women are just TOO PRETTY to be heterosexual.)

That’s one of the many things I love about ‘Glee.’ Yes. The writing is sometimes horrible and the continuity long-gone, but they handle all of the gay teen storylines with very fragile hands. They present them in a very family-friendly way so as allow children watching to just accept these same-sex relationships as part of realms of possibility. Yes, Kurt got bullied. And we talked a lot about bullying and Nikki still struggles with the idea that people would hate other people because of who they love. But knowing that she struggles with this, gives me hope for her future. Hope that there are many other children just like her, growing up seeing homosexuality as just another way of live. Another option for love. Another form of family.

Klaine and Brittana (The fandom names for these couples.)

So, I’ll look past the ludicrous storylines (REALLY, Sue? Requesting a sperm donation from TEENAGERS? BAH.) and the unbelievable plots (I can tell you why the Glee Club has no money – they spend it all on lights and costumes for shows NO ONE EVERY SEES.) and just enjoy the light-hearted musical numbers and embrace the visuals it gives my daughter so that she can grow up with a beautiful picture of homosexuality. Because, let’s face it, there aren’t many couples on television right now more gorgeous than Brittana or Klaine.

13 thoughts on “Why I Love Watching ‘Glee’ With My Daughter”

  1. Good attitude, I always thought we were taught to accept everyone but I think that message was overrun for some people with more negative ideas. I love glee for all the reasons you do too!!

  2. This is a very good point, and makes me want to (1) start watching Glee (I always wait until series are all the way over, and then watch them straight through, but maybe I need to make an exception), (2) with the kids.

  3. I love how open and accepting Nikki is and that’s down to you Momma Zoot!

    She’s more open and accepting that some of the adults I know who claim to be open. Me and CJ had a whole conversation about being gay and being Christian and could you be Christian and be open to people being gay (after I posted about a group of Christians at a Gay Pride parade holding up signs apologising on my FB – someone I used to go to school with then invited be to go to Pride which was interesting)

  4. BTW my Mum doesn’t watch Glee with me but my Dad has in the past – I was a little embarrassed but the fact that my Dad wanted to hang out with me counteracted that. Me and Mum watch House, Bones and CSI – that balances out for the lack of the Glee loving (then again she likes the songs when they are on the stereo but not the show lol)

  5. I have to say, Glee’s treatment of gays and gay couples has been outstanding. From Kurt’s coming out to everyday life, they’ve done an awesome job! I love that my five year old points to the screen and tells me that Kurt and Blaine are “just like Uncle T and Uncle L”.!

  6. Yay! I’m the same. Xander’s too young for most TV (not even 2), but I do have a list of kid’s books along the same lines to begin introducing the idea of “different” families. And he does watch some of them, he likes to dance to the music, so I sometimes find a clip for him online to shake his diaper booty to. Heh.

  7. This is so lovely. I am grateful for shows like Glee that seem to be providing the opportunity to see that gay relationships are normal and awesome.

    I, however, have to confess that I gave up watching after season one. I felt that the extreme stereotypes used in the characterisation of Kurt and Mercedes by that stage were really grating. Just because a boy is gay doesn’t mean that he needs to be so snarky and bitchy, and obsessed with fashion. Just because a girl is black doesn’t mean that she has to be shouty and bossy – or “sassy” as they describe it. I don’t know if they have continued down that vein, but I think they should have avoided resorting to such clichés. No black girl or gay guy I have ever met act that way, but for some reason TV characters have been portrayed that way for as long as I can remember.

    I also felt like the Britney and Santana storyline in the early days was a bit “Hey, men! Hot cheerleaders who will make out with each other – but don’t worry, they like men too!” I get the impression that it has developed since then, and that’s a good thing. Lesbians do not exist for the purpose of providing entertainment to men.

    The message people seem to be drawing from the show is truly a great one. I’m grateful that TV shows here seem to have more and more gay couples without it being purely for titillation.

  8. I am so annoyed right now that google reader sharing is gone and I can’t share this post with everyone I know…oh wait facebook!

  9. Love this piece, I am thrilled to hear that there are mothers who enjoy sharing the diversity of the world with their children…while snuggling on the sofa together. We are HUGE Adam Lambert fans on our home + with 4 young children, I take the chance to explain differences in one another to them, while watching/ listening to him. They are so open + accepting, a wonderful, early lesson in tolerance.

  10. I don’t watch Glee anymore (I tried for a season, but just couldn’t tolerate it), but do appreciate that they’re calling attention to gay issues in a more mainstream setting.

  11. We use Glee as a jumping off point for a lot of family conversations. My son is 11. I would never have thought to talk to him about teen suicide but the last episode we saw really opened that discussion up for us.

    I love the show and it has given us some wonderful songs to sing together.

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