It may be one of the most popular TV shows set in an American high school, but it goes without saying that what happens on Glee doesn't always reflect the realities of every day teen life. But we're going to say it anyway. When gay teen Kurt Hummel was crowned prom queen on Glee, it was bad news. When teen boys at two real schools in America were crowned prom queen this weekend, it made moms like me stand up and cheer.
Our kids get it! They really get it!
Long story short, Andrew Viveros, a transgender teen at McFatter Technical High School in Davie, Florida and Jake Boyer, an openly gay teen at Blacksburg High School in Blacksburg, Virginia both were crowed by their classmates this past weekend at their individual schools. Unlike Kurt on Glee, who was stunned that his classmates were essentially picking on him by calling him a "queen," these kids both felt that they were being embraced by their peers, who were accepting them for who they were.
This is one of those great stories of America, isn't it? That each generation is progressively more accepting of differences than the one before it? New statistics have shown that America has shifted to a point where a majority of voting-age Americans now approve of gay marriage. I can't help but wonder if that doesn't have as much to do with teenagers reaching the age of majority as it does with older Americans opening their eyes and realizing that gay people aren't going to hurt THEIR marriage. Just five years ago, a Gallup poll showed a slight majority of teens favored gay marriage -- so it would follow that they'd carry those ideals into "adulthood."
This is where the rest of America can learn from our kids. That it doesn't matter what the rest of society thinks. It doesn't matter what tradition has said. Sure, the prom "queen" has always been the popular girl. So what! Buck tradition. Embrace the unusual. That's how you change the world.
Glee may pep us up with happy songs, but this puts a song in our hearts. What about you, does this give you hope for the future?
Image via merfam/Flickr