A few weeks ago, I wrote about a trans* character on Glee, Unique. I expressed concern about how the creators were going to handle the presentation of Unique’s storyline and how realistic it would appear because despite Glee’s track record of presenting those who in other outlets are underrepresented, sometimes the verisimilitude of these storylines can be sadly lacking. I was hoping Unique’s storyline would follow the more realistic story of Santana coming out to her grandmother, who was not accepting. Unfortunately, most people who come out do not receive a welcoming reception from family, so to present the situation in such a way more realistically depicted coming out, which is one of the most daunting things people in the LGBTQ* community face. We need representation in the media to allow people from without the community to see what it is really like to be a part of the community. Creating that connection can help us in steps toward equality.
I have watched Glee since its beginnings. A show with musical performances each episode and Lea Michele from Spring Awakening, the soundtrack which gets played the most on my iTunes, sounded amazing. I got pulled in by the characters, the storylines, and the music. The show has had its ups and downs, but Ryan Murphy, the show’s creator, has created an outlet for all kinds of different people. Most shows do not have average looking people, gays or lesbians, or individuals with disabilities. And now a trans* character has also been introduced to the mix.
Typing transgender into Google news today overwhelmingly returned results on Chaz Bono’s decision to join Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). Many articles I read were in opposition to his participation in the show, though there were some articles in support and some which refused to take a side on the issue, merely reporting the controversy.
We listen to music to experience feelings, to listen to words put together in interesting ways, to let the beat go through us. It is poetry and dynamic sound. How does music help us to live our lives though? It lets us know that someone out there has felt the same. It allows us to experience unity with a simple recording. In this way, it is integral to the way we cope with adversity, loss, love, and fear.
Throughout my struggle with my identity, whether it be with my sexuality or my gender identity, my mom has always stood by me. No matter how I have felt or how distraught I have been, she has always reassured me. I know it is hard for her. I know she is scared that I will be hurt physically, and she wants to protect me from whatever pain I might go through. It means so much to me to know I have that support in place when most people are not as lucky. So many of my friends have had bad experiences with their parents when it comes to accepting them as LGBTQ. After meeting a friend of mine the other night and hearing her story, my mom wrote this open letter to parents: