'Glee's' Gay First Time Doesn't Have to Shock to Awe

Chris Colfer Darren CrissGleeks, things are about to get serious. The fourth episode of Glee's third season has been dubbed The First Time. Uh huh, THAT first time. It's pretty clear that some teenager at McKinley High is going to lose his . . . or her . . . V-card tomorrow night. So why is Chris Colfer playing it off like it's no big deal?

Rumor has it his character, Kurt Hummel, and boyfriend Blaine are looking to go all the way. Or Rachel Berry will sleep with Finn Hudson. Or both. It could go either way, but here's what we do know.

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There's going to be talk about a young gay couple's first time on national television in a popular primetime show. And Chris Colfer is comparing the potential outcry to even broaching the controversial topic with how people react when he commits a fashion faux pas:

We get negative reactions if I wear an orange scarf with white pants! So I'm sure there will be some negative feedback, there always is no matter what the episode is about. I think it's a huge deal that this is the first time something like this has been shown on television, but I think it's handled so delicately and sweetly that I don't think it will have quite the shock factor that people are thinking. . . I mean, I could be wrong. I haven't seen it yet!

He got one thing right: it is a huge deal to even talk about this -- whether or not this happens. But it doesn't have to be shocking or crassly portrayed to make it so. It just has to be done. Period.

It's not a stretch to compare it to Mary Kay and Johnny, the first married couple to ever share the same bed on TV (contrary to popular belief it was not Lucy and Desi), or the first kiss between lesbians on LA Law two whole decades ago. To talk about gay teenagers contemplating their first time is to acknowledge that this happens to them too, that this is an American concern. Gay kids have hormones too!

Frankly, I share Colfer's faith that the writers can handle this with class. When Kurt was banned by his father from having Blaine at a sleepover last season, it was a pitch perfect account of the emotional imbroglio of teenage relationships. Kurt and Blaine haven't been treated differently by the writers in that sense; they're normal teens who just so happen to be gay.

And so it would make sense that their possible first time would get wrapped up with that of Rachel and Finn. Both Kurt and Rachel are high school seniors, both in serious relationships, both in turmoil. But Brenda and Dylan in bed together long ago paved the way for the bedhopping of teens on just about every thing spit out by the CW.

But a Kurt and Blaine hook-up in any form is a step forward. This is an acknowledgement that gay kids are struggling with the same issues as their peers. We need to have this happen in order for Colfer to be right, in order for it to not be a big deal down the road.

Do you think it's fair to say that because it won't be crass that it won't be a big deal? Will you be tuning in?

 

Image via Fox

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