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.
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.