You know what I would like more than ever? To have TV shows, like Glee, not only depict more gay characters into their plot, but actually cast someone who is “AUTHENTICALLY” part of that community. By authentic, I mean someone who knows the struggle and who has been through the experiences of the character they are playing.
Instead of having this “Oh I wonder if he’s gay” (which happens to be the first question that pops into ones head) or the disappointed “I wish he was gay” response, I would like to hear more reactions like, “YES! He’s gay in real life”.
Don’t get me wrong, characters like Blaine, Santana, David, and the upcoming character Sebastian (none of which are gay in real life) are awesome and they do ACT the characteristics/thoughts/attributes of someone who is gay very well, however, if you were to compare the actors to Kurt (who happens to be gay in real life) – who would you feel was more AUTHENTIC to the role?
Someone who convinces you that they are gay or someone who lives and breathes being gay?
Do you think authenticity even matters in TV anymore?
Again, don’t get me wrong, I give props to these actors for playing gay roles and for the producers to even create such roles to play – however, it makes me question the authenticity of the show – how authentic are these actors being in representing gay people when they aren’t gay themselves.
Would Glee Cast a non Asian to play Mike Chang or Tina? Orientation is easy to type cast because you can’t see it.
If the shows producers are casting roles of gay characters left and right, how is it that there isn’t more of representation of actual gay men/women on the show? Why are there more straight people playing gay roles? Vice versa gay some men/women on Glee play Straight roles. Mmmm that’s cool and everything – but what gives? GASP! Is this the new “STRAIGHT”? The new thing in Hollywood? Maybe there isn’t that many gay actors present in Hollywood to fit to play these roles? These are some questions I ask myself and I invite you to ask of yourself. Opinions, not fact, but definitely something to think about.
An argument that I’ve encountered is that, it is not a good idea to keep these roles specifically for just gay actors. By just casting these roles for gay people is discrimination. The point of it – is acting. Does that mean Arti needs to be played by a someone who really is in a wheel chair? These actors were/are good enough and were casted because they acted the role well. Point taken.
I get it, but what message does that send to the gay community? That we can’t represent our own people on stage, shows, movies, music, etc? That we need straight people to represent us because they can “act” “sing” better than the actually people they are playing? If American Idol or X Factor can search far and wide for amazing singers and the next big thing, why can’t shows like Glee find actual gay men/women to play roles such as Blaine, Santana, David, or Sebastian? Mmmm that doesn’t make any sense. Do you think it does?
All I’m saying is, I appreciate that there are more gay roles on TV and appreciate the voice Glee has given to the gay community, however, I can’t help but feel that there are more suited actors who are actually gay, who can do the same justice if not better, than those who are currently playing these roles. Being authentic is what makes a person, a story, an experience worth more than any re-enactment or acting. Authenticity goes a long way.
Nevertheless, Glee is no doubt breaking barriers, however we still need to be mindful of who is speaking for us and our community. We have to critically analyze who we see on TV, magazines, and in the media at all times. We have to be aware of depiction and experiences of our own stories and not let the media silence the voices of our community and dictate how they should be represented. This is how stereotypes begin.
Lastly, if it happens to be all about the money, the fame, the viewers – is it worth it or are we just selling ourselves out?