Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gay Action Figures of the Week

Why? Because, dahlings, the moms have gone Hollywood (read all the way to the end of that link or you won't get the cryptic allusion), and so we care deeply about profoundly superficial things like the Golden Globe Awards and the silly, sardonic, or sentimental speeches actors make when they win them. And because Glee is the queerest thing on TV ever, the best excuse we've found yet -- and, trust me, we are always looking -- for spending Tuesday nights on the couch belting out big songs.

At the Globes this past Sunday evening, Colfer and Lynch ran the table in the Best Supporting category for their performances on the show as, respectively, Kurt Hummel, the brave, tender faggot with the gorgeous counter-tenor voice, and Sue Sylvester, the ambiguously gay cheerleading coach whose diabolical machinations are often as close as the show gets to having a plot.

Lynch, shown at left (via) at the awards show with the woman she wed last summer, Dr. Lara Embry, picks up a bonus Gay Action Figure of the Week for her acceptance speech, which was a funny send-up of the winner's obligatory performance of false modesty that ended with an utterly unselfconscious shout-out to "my wife Lara" and their two children. Oh, Jane, you are so suave, so splendid, so deft with the deadpan line and look. You make tall girls everywhere want to square their shoulders and stride gleefully across the stages of their lives. We would dream of gay-marrying you if you -- and, oh yeah, we -- weren't already taken.

Meanwhile, the luminous Colfer, at left (via), whose character's torment at the hands of a homophobic/gay-panicked bully has sparked tears and motherly/teacherly fantasies of rescue over the course of this season, was poised, eloquent, and fierce in accepting his award. He opened with a quip about having dropped his heart "somewhere between Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore" and ended with his own very special shout-out:
Most importantly, to all the amazing kids that watch our show and the kids that our show celebrates who are constantly told no by the people in their environments, by bullies at school that they can’t be who they are or have what they want because of who they are. Well [pause, wave trophy in air], screw that, kids! Thank you [exit smiling].
Yes, my pretties, we understand that visibility in pop culture is fairly low on the totem pole of queer political aspirations (or maybe it isn't -- guess that depends on the queer, doesn't it?). Still, we feel moved to celebrate these proud, public actions by Lynch and Colfer as modest yet significant contributions to the cause. There are still stunningly few openly gay actors in Hollywood, so Colfer in particular, at the ripe old age of 20, is to be commended for beginning his career by being unabashedly out and vocal on issues of importance to the community.

And Glee, for all its flaws (and we admit there are some), deserves its own bit of commendation for its commitment to queer plots and characters and for the extraordinarily good timing of its attention to bullying. (Oh, and that EW there on the left, with Colfer and the adorable Darren Chriss on the cover, should be on newsstands now.) We may be biased, but we think the show is at its best when it focuses on Kurt's proud yet uncertain efforts to grow up gay and strong. We are genuinely conflicted about who sings the best (Kurt? Rachel? Rachel? Kurt? Mercedes? Rachel?), but Kurt's stories win hands down for their emotional texture and their potent political force. Colfer's pitch-perfect performance makes the character's dignity and vulnerability so clear that the audience can't not root for him. We want a world in which Kurt can thrive. We want to hold his hand and try, together, to bring that world into being. Don't we? Yes, Kurt, we do. We want to hold your hand, too. Peace out.


  1. Lovingly gorgeous!

    Always yours,

  2. Thank you for posting that video: I loved watching it again. It's like buttah: beautiful!

  3. OK, Roxie, yes, indeed, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was moving and hubby and I both puddled up. But Colfer's best song this season for me was the Xmas episode's absolutely perfect "It's Cold Outside," which stages the flirtation with Darren Chriss so lightly it sort of melts into fort/da: a tug between reaching for something and tossing it away. Knocks the socks off of Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews' much more knowing, and so flatter, rendition of "It's Cold."

    And Jane? Yes, of course, serious girl crush, even for us married gals.

    I'm with you: these images and declarations are not trivial. They are vitally important in shaming homophobia that is just as deadly now as it was before Stonewall.

  4. Oh, Kathi, you are so right about the Colfer-Chriss duet on "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Definitely one of the best vocal performances of the season -- and perhaps of the entire series. It manages to be both adorable and powerfully sexy, which can be a tough line to find in depicting youthful attraction, I think. Anyway, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" just worked better for the purposes of this post, but we do love "BICO" -- Perhaps we repressed because it's so darn cold in Roxie's World right now!

  5. Irrespective of the content and significance of this scene, are you really saying the singing is good? To me it sounds thin and strained and soulless.

  6. When this song is sung in the show, Colfer's character, Kurt, is worried that his only parent may die. He's in a state of shock, and the performance reflects that -- which may be what you are hearing as thinness or strain. I wouldn't call it soulless, though -- To me it's right on the edge of heartbreak.

    You've questioned my taste/judgment about music before, CPP (James Taylor/Carole King). Tell me something YOU like so that I can have a sense of where you're coming from. Or, you know, so that I can insult your taste! ;-)

  7. Buzzcocks--This is one of my favorite songes of all time:

    Black Crowes--This is also an amazing performance of a fantastic songe:

    X-Ray Spex--Great frontwoman:

    Donna Summer--Now *this* is some fucken singing:

    Dead or Alive--And this, too (with dancing and hair):

    The overwhelmingly vast majority of the music made in the twenty years I find to be completely unlistenable swill.

  8. I interpret your silence as affirmation of the impeccability of my musical taste.


  9. Busy day around here, Comrade -- No time for cutting and pasting to watch music vids. Embed the darned links if you want to become the Official Musical Dude of Roxie's World! Nice to see Donna Summer on your list -- and not just because that's the only name we recognized.

  10. I have no idea how to embed links in a fucken blogger comment, so I made a blogge poste just for YOU with embedded Youtubes:

  11. Anonymous1:07 PM EST

    Oh man, that brought tears to my eyes. If there were more shows about Kurt and less about pregnancies and so on I'd still be watching Glee! (As it is, it's on the netflix queue but not a priority.)


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