Friday, October 15, 2010
A Love Letter to Kurt Hummel
Is there a more important character on network TV today than Kurt Hummel? I think not. In this time where many gay teenagers are finding themselves alone and confused, Glee offers this positive inspirational character.
Kurt is young, gay, out, proud, defiant, and above all completely and utterly himself. He might not always do the right thing, or feel comfortable in all situations. But he goes on living. Goes on trying things. Goes on being true to himself.
I wish there was a character like this in popular culture when I was growing up. We all know that being a teenager, and particularly a gay teenager, can be very lonely. I sought refuge in the writings of James Baldwin at that age. But I hope young gay men and women today can see themselves in Kurt. He's out there. On the most popular show on TV. He's is definitely and definitively part of the cultural conversation. Hopefully he's forcing teachers and parents and young adults to confront the sexuality question that looms large at that age.
But back to Kurt himself. I just love him. Love his relationships. Whether the tender and loving one that he has with his dad. The awkward and sometimes stalkerish crush he had on Finn. His rivalry with Rachel, his love and "us against the world" friendship with Mercedes. I love that he examines his surroundings and makes informed opinions about religion, high school and of course Lady Gaga.I love that he always tries new things and is never afraid. Whether demanding the right to sing "Defying Gravity", trying out for the football team and of course the right to dance to "Single Ladies' in a unitard.
And don't you just love his dad. He always stands up to him. Always with love and protection. He has no judgement, no disappointment. And above all he is wise and guides him. I teared up up in the scenes that accompanied 'I Want to Hold Your Hand" when they showed the tea party little Kurt had for this dad. How great is that? To encourage and love your kid that way at that age, forgetting how you thought they'd turn up, what you wanted them to become. Not a lot of parents are up to that challenge.
Chris Colfer is a most talented young man. I was so happy that he was nominated for an Emmy this year for season one. He gives Kurt such charm and appeal. And what a singer. What other 20 year old can give such pizazz to "Le Jazz Hot'' and such heartache to his version of 'I want to Hold Your Hand". And what an arc have the writers given him. Coming out, confronting his dad about his sexuality, having a crush on his straight friend, facing the uncertainty of a very sick parent. And all those songs, not just what I mentioned but he also covered John Mellancamp and did 'Rose's Turn" from Gypsy and Judy Garland's part in "Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy".
My favourite Glee cover is "I Want to Hold Your Hand". You can't tell, right? I only mentioned it here 4 times. Beautiful and full of emotion. It is on constant loop on my iPod.
Kurt, just as Rachel told you last week. "You might be lonely but you are not alone". I love you and I'm so happy that I get to spend time with you every week. Keep the faith, my friend.