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Weekly Gleek: We've Come a Long Way, Baby

Weekly Gleek: We've Come a Long Way, Baby

Another gleeless Tuesday has come and gone, bois and grrlz, and even the most determinedly high-spirited among us may be suffering occasional visits from the Sue Sylvester express (destination: horror). If you’re still feeling blue after last week’s DIY therapy session with Rachel Berry, then now might be a good time to pull into one of those scenic rest stops on the side of the road, stretch our legs, and appreciate that panoramic vista stretched out below. We really have come a long way, baby.

As a pop culture geek, I have always enjoyed taking these “big picture” moments to appreciate and map our collective social progress through the small screen; and right now seems like an especially good opportunity to marvel at how much Kurt and Blaine’s first kiss did not cause a kerfuffle. 

 

…That’s a pretty steamy first kiss by any yardstick, and for a gay teen couple on primetime television, it’s practically NC-17. I don’t know about you guys, but I was pleasantly surprised when the mainstream media did not run around banging into things and screaming “My eyes! My eyes!” Of course, I am not counting the tea party reaction here, because A) they are not mainstream, and B) you pretty much lose the right to have your complaints taken seriously when you start holding anti-tax rallies in publicly funded parks. Just sayin’.

So aside from Victoria Jackson’s gag reflex, the first romantic same-sex kiss on Glee didn’t really seem to cause much of a stir. And when you take a step back and think about that, it’s pretty awesome.  Just ten years ago, we had to rely completely on thinly veiled magical symbolism to tell our romantic gay stories—remember Willow and Tara and the flaming O spell? You don’t? Well let me refresh your memory…

 

Once upon a time in Y2K, there was an adorable lesbian couple on Buffy the Vampire Slayer who were never allowed to kiss or have sexy times in front of the camera. The only way they were ever able to show any couple-type affection was through metaphor, as “magik” (they would probably spell it with a k, I’m guessing, ‘cause it’s just way more hip and pagan that way), as their relationship centered so strongly around their shared “witchcraft.” In the flaming O spell pictured above, they sat side by